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Historical drawings place two structures on this building’s site around 1870.
Even without such documentation, one need only look at the river rock walls to conclude that it predates the modern building above. The foundation most likely served as the original lower level to the barn, where the sloped site accommodated farm animals below, while hay was stored above.
Visitors entering this building at the upper grade from the north are treated to a bright, two-story atrium, where the old barn’s posts and beams are preserved. Careful study reveals a variety of traditional joints, including pegs and hand-carved mortise and tenons. Even the ladder that led to the hay loft has been retained, although the upper level now houses treatment rooms, completed during a renovation about five years ago.
Before the renovation, the building was covered by dull grey vinyl siding, which obscured the characteristic red painted barn walls. The original cladding was replaced with a strikingly similar red vertical metal siding that mimics the older siding in a more durable, modern material. The front facing roof pitch follows the line of the original roof and, when viewed from the front, recalls the dual-pitched gambrel roof common in classic barns.
“Eyesore of the Week” is our weekly look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse. com or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.