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Wednesday, November 27,2013

Eye Candy of the Week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: Red Cedar Friends Meeting House, 1400 Turner St., Lansing

Owner: Red Cedar Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Assessed value:
$0

During the initial stages of this building’s design, architect Tim Mrozowski, AIA, was determined to reflect the atmosphere of historic Quaker meetings, which historically often occurred in individuals’ homes. This objective is achieved in a front elevation that recalls two separate houses. Here, the two volumes serve distinct functions, with one used for religious meetings and the other for fellowship activities. An elegant entry portico — accented by exposed rafter tails (which extend past the building to form eaves) and gracefully tapered columns — joins the two volumes. Windows are arranged employing local, balanced symmetries.

However, the building is not nostalgic for a distant past — it is designed to meet LEED standards. Sited in Lansing’s Old Town on the former site of a lumber yard, it is located close to shops and public transportation. Meeting members assisted in the construction of the building, including the processing of a stand of ash trees that had been susceptible to insect infestation. The clear lumber is used throughout as interior casing and trim.

In a time when both the architectural press and profession favor iconoclastic structures and seem only to recognize chaotic edifices, it is particularly pleasant to experience a calm, contextual building. The meeting house fits with its surroundings without mimicking its more historic neighbors. It is at once traditional and forward looking.


“Eye Candy of the Week” is our look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates with Eyesore 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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