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Wednesday, January 2,2013

Eye sore of the week

by Sam Inglot
Property: 739 N. Jenison Ave., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Land Bank

Assessed value: $29,700

Owner says: Slated for demolition

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Did you know that porches — the commonplace, wood-frame, open-air versions like this one on North Jenison Avenue — are uniquely North American? Think about it. Rarely found elsewhere in the world, it is one of the most distinctive features of American residential architecture. Porches date back to the early 20th century and the proliferation of modern air conditioning. A porch like this one not only shelters people with seasonal shading, but also the building itself. The deep porch and eaves protect the adjacent walls from heat while maintaining a pleasant indoor environment without the need for mechanized cooling.

The fate of this property will be known in mid-February, says Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing. It’s been red tagged for demolition in the coming year so long as funding from the state comes through.

But previous occupants must have allowed the demolition process to start early. The eave of the front porch fašade is already buckling and crumbling. They also may have been in a hurry to leave, as shown by the bag of trash on the sad and faded red front porch.

A quick peak inside reveals a slew of furniture and knickknacks strewn about the house. This gutterless exterior features a bevy of boarded-up windows and a backdoor entrance that only an Olympic high jumper could use due to the absence of stairs.

“Eyesore of the Week” is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.

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