Senator Isaac Peckham Christiancy Home Lansing, MI
A Substantial Residence
“On a commanding eminence in the southeast part of the city stands the new residence of Judge Christiancy. These premises were once a portion of the L.A. Torrance farm, and were purchased by Mr. Christiancy soon after his removal to this city. Before the death of his wife a new house was planned and rapidly being built, which he expected would be his permanent home.
The site upon which this building is located commands a sweeping view of the whole city, and surrounding country wherever the forests have been cleared away. The soil in this part of the city is sand and gravel, and at all times of the year the walks and drives are free from mud and never present the appearance of a mortar-bed.
The main building averages 43 by 43 feet, two stories in height, with tower and faces west and north. There is a wing, average size 18 by 26 feet, on the east. The structure is of uniform cream-colored brick, manufactured by Robert Barker of this city. The foundation wall built by Jere Van Keuren, from the granite boulders of the field, is unquestionably as handsome and substantial as can be found in the state. The cellar extends under the whole building, and contains the same number of rooms, as does the first story. In the cellar is one of Camp’s furnaces, with ventilation apparatus, which heats and ventilates the whole building.
The real front of the building is west, and the north has also a front door. On entering the building at the west door, you find 8 by 10 feet. A door opens into a hall 8 by 32 feet. To the right is a parlor, 15 by 19 feet. In the rear of the parlor is a dining room, 15 feet 8 inches by 19 feet. In rear of the dining room there is a passageway 14 feet in length, which leads to the kitchen, and both sides may be used as pantry.
Opposite the parlor is the library room, same size as the parlor; in the rear of the library room is a bedroom, same size of dining room, with bay window. On this floor is also a bathroom and various closets.
The second story is nearly the same as below, with little difference in arrangement. The main stairs lead up from the hall.
The building was planned by Senator Christiancy, with the exception of the roof and tower, which were devised by Abram Cooper.
Although the house looks as if built after the usual mode of constructing brick houses, it is vastly different. In the first place a regular balloon frame was erected and this was sheeted on both sides with inch boards. Then the brick wall was laid on the outside and lathed and plastered on the inside. There is no danger from dampness, and its strength and durability cannot be questioned. Every partition in the house was also double sheeted, then lathes and plastered.
This building stands today as a monument of what our Lansing builders can do. The mason work from top to bottom was under charge of Jere Van Keuren. The carpenter work was done by Abram Cooper. (These guys may have been here to work on the Capitol. They are in the 1873 CD)
While the building is a masterpiece of workmanship, the parlor, library and hall are the principal points of attraction. The woodwork in this part of the house is of butternut and black walnut, with an oil finish, smooth as glass. M.J. Murphy, long in the employ of D.W. Buck, had an opportunity of showing his skill, and we do not believe it can be surpassed in the state. Visitors in the public buildings at Washington sat there is nothing in the capitol that will equal the beauty of the finish in these two rooms.
The stairs of walnut and butternut are elegant in the highest sense of the word, and the railing and sides shine like a polished mirror. H.E. Partch, the grainer and painter, whose work was so much admired in John Robson’s house, has the job of graining and painting, and he has fully kept the reputation so well established.
The doors of butternut with black walnut moldings were made at the shop of Mr. Cooper, and constructed after the most approved patterns.
The total cost of this building will be $8,500 when fully complete. Of course there are many houses in the state, which far exceed it in cost, but for convenience, durability, and beauty of workmanship, it can hardly be exceeded.
The commanding site on which this building stands makes it appear to better advantage that twice its cost, expended on premise on a level with the country around. From the tower and roof the whole city, Grand and Cedar rivers, the various railroad tracks, highways, and improved farms, lie like a handsome map around you. (LRW 4/6/1875)
“Judge Person has traded his elegant residence at Howell for the house and extensive grounds of the late Judge Christiancy’s estate on Cedar street south. The place will make an excellent home for the judge, and he will remove into it shortly. SR 10/4/1893
Christiancy School 1401 Beech Street
In 1907 Judge Rollin Person subdivided the property and established the Rollin H. Person Addition Subdivision. The Christiancy residence sat just off Beech Street on Out Lot A and Lots 50 and 51. Out Lot A and Lots 50 and 51 was sold to the Lansing School District in 1910. The home was later sold in 1913 for $500 and removed from the Lots. In 1914 the school district decided to build the Christiancy School on the lots, the school was designed by Judson Churchill.
Next the Christiancy Scandal
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