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Wednesday, March 19,2014

Eyecandy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: Harold A. Childs House, 343 M.A.C Ave., East Lansing

Owner: Kathleen Terry and Jamie Lidstrom

Assessed value:
$78,100

This house is located in a transition area between East Lansing’s commercial and residential zones. Appropriately, the building’s history recalls its combined use as home and office. As befitting a house designed by an architect, its simple mass features several notable details. Horizontal siding is methodically detailed without typical corner trim. Windows are unusually narrow and tall, particularly those opening to the cellar. The capitals usually found on porch columns have been cleverly substituted with paired corbels.

The home cannot be classified into an easily identifiable style. However, it demonstrates the practice of “regionalism” by incorporating features, materials and techniques that identify its geographic context in Michigan’s cold, wet climate. Wood is liberally employed for structural and finish uses, with the siding extended to its questionable termination within inches of the ground. Supported by impressive brackets, the wide eaves and steeply pitched, hipped roof cast abundant precipitation away from the building’s foundation.

Architect Harold Childs designed the house for his father-in-law, Samuel Cochrane, and the house served as Childs’ own residence and office after Cochrane’s death. Childs designed numerous area buildings, both simple and significant, including East Lansing’s Orchard Street Pump House and the Reuter House (now The English Inn) in Eaton Rapids.

“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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