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Wednesday, December 18,2013

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: Horticultural Laboratory Building (Eustace-Cole Hall), 468 E. Circle Drive, East Lansing

Owner: Michigan State University

A short walk along MSU’s West Circle Drive rewards admirers of traditional architecture. There, a string of buildings referred to as Laboratory Row is capped at its north end by the home of the Honors College. Listed on both the National and State Historical registers, this picturesque building was likely designed by architect William D. Appleyard, though popular belief attributes the effort to horticulturalist Liberty Hyde Bailey.

The building’s solid Queen Anne massing rises from a stone foundation and brick exterior, punctuated by an elaborately detailed, Richardsonian Romanesque arch at the main entrance. Although the wood shakes on the upper level present a weatherworn patina, they originally exhibited an attractive, decorative pattern. Jack arch-topped windows are arranged in well-balanced asymmetries, despite the later addition of a pair of windows — careful observers should be able to spot the new work.

Viewing the front elevation, the doublepitched gambrel roof and its attached tower call to mind a barn and silo — a perfect image for the horticulture building of the former Michigan Agricultural College. Now developed to a great university, it is perhaps a measure of maturity that, despite two schemes to demolish this building and its neighbors, they still remain.

“Eye Candy of the Week” is our weekly 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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