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Wednesday, April 6,2011

'Inspiration' lacks foundation

Riverfront sculpture needs more money for a pedestal

by Lawrence Cosentino
There’s a ton of sculpture coming to downtown Lansing ' literally ' but nowhere to put it.
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Thursday, March 31,2011

First life of a landmark

How the Ottawa Street Power Station fired up and flamed out

by Lawrence Cosentino
State of the art equipment, hidden smokestacks and a stunning stylized-flame design made the Ottawa Power Station the city’s most cherished landmark. Slowly, it sank under the silt of time, neglect and architectural indignities, until its full-blown resurrection as the world headquarters of the Accident Fund Insurance Co of America.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Phoenix Risen

How ‘the dominoes fell up’ to revive a great building and a determined city

by Lawrence Cosentino
In early autumn of 2006, two anonymous visitors asked for a tour of Lansing’s derelict Ottawa Power Station. It was an unusual request.The city usually had to coax people into venturing inside the once-splendid landmark on the Grand River, by then an intractable and embarrassing symbol of decay.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Hitting the bricks — gently

Masons restore a colossal flame to its original glory

by Lawrence Cosentino
The most compelling reason to spend millions of dollars to gut, refit and save the Ottawa Power Station is its unique shell, tapered and colored like a giant flame burning from black at the bottom to red to orange to yellow on top.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Transom zaps redux

Lightning strikes twice at the doors of the Ottawa Power Station

by Lawrence Cosentino
Lorenzo Ghiberti’s 15th-century bronze doors at the Baptistery of Florence have God, Noah, Adam and Eve going for them, but even the fabled “Gates of Paradise” don’t have transom zaps.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Skeleton crew

Dancing delicately with the Ottawa Power Station’s steel bones

by Lawrence Cosentino
Imagine replacing a dinosaur’s skeleton, working through a small hole in the top of its head, while the dinosaur is still alive.That’s pretty much what steelworkers had to do when they set about to convert the Ottawa Street Power Station to the world headquarters of the Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

From power to people

How designers made Planet Machine habitable by humans

by Lawrence Cosentino
Enter the Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America’s new headquarters in downtown Lansing and you walk into a naked tug of war between a 20th-century power plant and a modern office building.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Hardhats and high hopes

Economic echoes of an urban renewal thunderclap

by Lawrence Cosentino
Tell someone Lansing’s historic Ottawa Power Station is 172.2 feet tall and you might get a “hm.”Take a friend downtown to see the big orange flame jet into the blue or tremble in the river and you’ll get an “ohhh.”
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Opera with punch

MSU Opera Theatre takes on Ricky Ian Gordon’s fierce ‘Grapes of Wrath’

by Lawrence Cosentino
Sing a song of hope, love and family. Is it the great American song yet? Try a song of unemployment and foreclosures, union busting and immigrant bashing, alcohol and suicide. Need more? Sing of vigilantes with torches, reformers branded as communists, and bankers golfing while depositors lose their shirts.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Farewell and zwee-bop

MSU Jazz Vocal Ensemble assembles for the last time

by Lawrence Cosentino
As part of a university-wide 20 percent slash of programs across many departments, the School of Music’s 7-year-old vocal jazz program has been dropped. The program’s founder, MSU vocal jazz luminary Sunny Wilkinson, will not be re-hired next year after 17 years with the school.
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