Property: 170 E. Grand River Ave., Williamston
Owner: Jarco Investments, LLC
Assessed value: $196,500
Owner says: Could not be reached for comment
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It’s easy to miss this unassuming house set way back from Grand River Avenue in Williamston. But if you follow the subtle suggestion of a driveway to its terminus, you’ll find a classic ranch. All of the features are there — single story with a low-pitch gable roof, attached garage and the house hugs the landscape like the best of ranches. Although the popularity of this American house style has waned in the past decades, a new appreciation for the open floor plans, single-story living and massive windows inviting the outdoors has made these quite a hot commodity. Repairs to the damaged eave on the facade, combined with structural repairs to the rear porch roof, are all this house needs.
The dismal collection of trees and fallen branches scattered across the front lawn do the city of Williamston a favor by concealing this abandoned house from the frequently traveled Grand River Avenue. A closer look at the neglected 10-acre property reveals a house slowly falling to pieces, evidenced by the bricks, pipes and wooden boards strewn across the lawn. Chipped and weathered paint around the windows and doors also indicate that efforts for upkeep have long been deserted. Major damage to the house includes a rotted garage door and the roof, which looks as if it’s ready to collapse at any moment. With some much-needed attention and repairs, the house has the potential to be a home once again.