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Wednesday, February 1,2012

Eyecandy of the week

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn
Address: 827 N. Washington Ave., Lansing

Owner: Michigan Press Association

Assessed value: $122,200

A quick lesson in mid-century modern architecture coupling: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Guggenheim. Mies van der Rohe and the S.R. Crown Hall. Eero Saarinen and the TWA Terminal. Now add Charles V. Opdyke and the Michigan Press Association.

Opdyke was a Lansing architect who designed this striking modernist cube at 827 N. Washington Ave. Easily overlooked, this diminutive glass and steel box is among the best of the best in Lansing. Flat planes. Flat roof. Large windows. Totally modernist. 

According to Michael MacLaren, executive director of the Michigan Press Association, it was built in 1962 and its first life was a bank, the Lansing Teachers Credit Union. The MPA is the building’s second owner and has occupied it since 1976. 

Luckily, unappreciated mid-century modern buildings are starting to be recognized on the National Register as historic buildings worth preserving.

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