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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Eye Sore of the Week

by Dylan Sowle
Property: 841 Cawood St., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Treasurer

Assessed value: $24,400

Owner says: Slated for demolition

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It’s easy to ignore small commercial and residential structures, otherwise known as background buildings. This home on the northwest side of Lansing is a good example. It’s just another small bungalow-style house without any significance until a closer look reveals that the exterior is sheathed in wood shakes. A more decorative pattern is applied to the shingles on the front of the home — a common practice for distinguishing the facade. Architectural variations, like the shakes on this house, are part of the patchwork that makes the neighborhood and, by extension, the city, vibrant.

It appears the previous residents of this humble home were testing some avant-garde decorating techniques before leaving it to an uncertain future. The twisted mess of Venetian blinds in the front porch window contrasts the north side of the house where every window is either missing or boarded up. The boards complement the blue tarp sitting haphazardly on the roof, which almost covers the rotting foundation underneath.

If the boards and tarp are part of a rehabilitation effort, the gaping hole in the back of the house appears to be at least one key detail that went overlooked. If visitors can make it past the unfit to enter sign in front — and the pile of rubble waiting inside — the house holds lots of potential. (The land bank acquired the property through foreclosure. If funding is secured to do so, Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing says this one’s slated for demolition.)

“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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