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Thursday, January 20,2011

Eyesore of the week

2730 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Lansing

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn
Property: 2730 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Lansing

Assessed value: $27,900


Owner: Dave Finet


Owner says: Stay tuned


It’s OK to think that this house at 2730 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. looks dreadful with its exposed plywood, mismatched siding and overall disrepair. Lansing-area resident and owner Dave Finet is the first to agree that it’s truly an eyesore. Finet, who is general manager at the East Lansing Food Co-op, acquired the house as an investment property for his RV rental business and has a passion for restoring homes. Once completed, the north Lansing home will round out a hat trick of Finet renovations, including one in Urbana, Ill., and another in Madison, Wis.


Think this home is beyond saving? Think it is time to throw in the towel? Think again. This home is an excellent example of a building that looks like a lost cause, but isn’t because it has good DNA. Buildings with good DNA can, despite neglect, recover because they possess the essentials: superior craftsmanship and quality materials that can stand the test of time. This is one of the core reasons that urban revitalization has been so successful over the past two decades. The vast majority of buildings built in the urban core possess these essential qualities, allowing them to survive decades of negligence.


Finet knows that quality and craftsmanship matters as he transforms this property. It will only be a matter of months until this eyesore is a thing of beauty. Expect this property to be featured as Eye Candy of the Week by this summer.


All too often in our modern world, quantity is chosen over quality. Superior craftsmanship and quality materials are sacrificed for short-term gratification that has long-term impacts on the environment. Building materials account for a huge percentage of waste in landfills. Reducing the amount of landfill waste can be achieved with an emphasis on reusing buildings again and again.

Demolition and reconstruction are incredibly wasteful. Buildings with good DNA that can survive these environmentally taxing pursuits are a vital feature in a sustainable world. Better built, less waste. The best buildings are those that are structurally relevant for centuries. 

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