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Wednesday, April 10,2013

Eye sore of the week

by Dylan Sowle

Property: 1139 Linwood St., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Land Bank

Assessed value: $15,300

Owner says: Recently took ownership; no plans

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: A simple retaining wall, like this one, is a reminder of the tenuous relationship between humans and the environment. Despite the engineering and strength we use to keep nature at bay, it pushes back and, at times, literally bursts through. It is a subtle balance. We need to mitigate sprawl, live lightly on the land, limit the footprint of the manmade environment and build up, not out.

The worst part of this property isnīt the house. Sure, itīs got boarded-up windows and garbage strewn about, but the stone wall in the front is what really catches the eye — and not in a good way.

After a period of neglect, this once mighty retaining wall has fallen into a state of disrepair. Vines are growing into spaces where the wall has fallen apart, with bricks threatening to topple over at any moment. The damage to the concrete continues up to the front steps of the house where a gaping hole allows access under the porch for who-knows-what kind of creatures.

The house won’t do well if the wall keeps falling down around it. As dirt pushes its way through the cracks, it’s questionable how long itīll manage to hold up.

“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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