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Wednesday, December 11,2013

Eye Candy of the Week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: St. Casimir Church convent, 808 W. Barnes Ave., Lansing

Owner: St. Casimir Church

With the filing of an application to demolish this striking building, little time remains to enjoy it before it is razed. The house was constructed in 1928 as a convent for St. Casimir’s Catholic Church. Located in the Moore’s Park Neighborhood of Lansing, the building sits immediately south of the church’s main campus on Sparrow Avenue. One imagines what positive influence the residents of this home must have provided as neighbors. Constructed in the Colonial Revival style, the building features a dominant centered gable and exhibits the typical Georgian- and Adam-style influences found in high-style variants. The brick details are particularly remarkable, from the rusticated quoining at the corners to the authentic jack arches over the main-level windows. Round top windows in the attic dormers are echoed in the unusual front-porch roof.

Little good can be offered to support the imminent loss of an 85-year-old historic resource. However, it stands at the end of a row of homes sharing a similar setback. Were it located in the middle of this block, its removal would be more sorely felt as an obvious gap in the streetscape. Additionally, the church has made the building available for salvage, thus reducing the landfill waste while prolonging its life in the transplanted features. The church has requested food bank donations from hopeful scavengers.

“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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