East Lansing's residential neighborhoods are fairly traditional when it comes to architectural styles, a good mixture of Tudors, Colonials, Side-Halls, Craftsmans and Cape Cods, to name a few. Every once in a while, the block is punctuated by something unexpected, like 605 Butterfield Drive.
A library is the living room of the community. A gathering place open to all. Be it a small, neighborhood library or the central district library, the building design must be both civic and approachable — like the Mason Branch Library.
A cupola allows a house to reach skyward, filling it with light and air. A relatively rare feature seen in contemporary residential design, the cupola was all the rage during the mid- to late-19th century when Italianate architecture was at the height of fashion.
Last week, we visited this northwest Lansing neighborhood to feature a tax-foreclosed eyesore that's slated for demolition. Here now is its next-door neighbor: Architecture, particularly residential infill, is a subtle craft.
You just know something high-tech is going on inside this building. This week's feature — home to ACD.net, mid-Michigan's largest independent phone and Internet provider — is a cool cube of a building with vertical cladding, ribbon windows and an ever eye-pleasing blue-hued exterior complimented by orange accents.
Imagine designing a public library for a college town in the early 1960s. Fifty-two years later, the building is still in full use and the library staff cites a handheld piece of technology as an essential tool in maintaining the library's — and the building's — relevance: the iPad.