All posts for the month July, 2017

        A Postcard found on eBay of 509 Seymour Street

I know I promised to complete a history of Lansing’s early hotels, but I was side tracked by a postcard I purchased of a home at 509 Seymour Street, so please bear with me. The home at 509 Seymour was built between 1907 and 1908, currently the architect of the home is unknown. Orange Laverne Stone was born in Hamburg, Michigan on May 23, 1865 to Orange Newton and Julia P. (née Clark) Stone. The family moved to Howell, Michigan and lived for a time there, a fact that is unverified. Orange N. Stone moved to Lansing in 1888 and worked at the Boy’s Industrial School. His son Orange L. Stone came to Lansing in 1890-1891 and established a grocery business with his father at 319 (309) N. Washington Avenue. On December 24, 1886, Orange L. Stone married Miss Grace Elizabeth Musson, in Howell, Michigan, the couple had one child, Bruce M. Stone. Starting in 1906-1907 Orange L. Stone worked with his uncle Ira H. Clark, who owned the Lansing Journal, until the newspaper was sold to the State Republican in 1910-1911. After the sale of the newspaper Orange L. owned a grocery business on 202 E. Michigan Avenue. On July 15, 1932 Grace E. Stone died suddenly at the couple home at 509 Seymour Street of a coronary thrombosis, she was 67 years old.[1] Orange stayed in the home until 1943 when he sold it to Mrs. Bessie Howe Geagley. Orange moved to 363 University Drive in East Lansing until his death on May 30, 1946.[2]

  Another image of 509 from 1943 from FPLA


The home at 509 Seymour was a stunning example of a residence with clean and simple lines. When you consider that the surrounding core of the city in 1906 was flush with home in this style one realizes that the development that occurred afterward was a catastrophe for preservationist in Lansing. Like many of the homes from this period it was eventually divided into apartments. The striking porch that L’s around the structure with its inviting open pediment above the stairs is the strongest feature of this home. Notice the Tuscan Columns and ball toped newel post. The awning just adds to the structure, I am surprised that canvas awnings are not used more today, but they require maintenance, something no homeowner today wants to endure. The stacking of the gables is also a nice feature, the small open gable with the larger closed gable, with the pent roof. The other aspect is the way the architect stacked the windows on the façade. Under the open gable, it looks like two windows are stacked over two stacked over two. But this is a trick to achieve balance, the first and second floor windows are single windows with a wide sash. While at the peak of the open gable you have a double window with a double window at the top center of the home. The other windows on the façade are one over one, the entrance to the homes is on the side. What this does is present a balanced front to the home. In 1951, the home along with C.E. Bement’s home were torn town to build the First Church of Christ Scientist, the church was designed by Chicago architect, Charles D. Faulkner and cost $300,000.[3]


Like all images that I purchase, they are donated to the Forest Parke Library & Archives part of the Capital Area District Libraries.


[1] LSJ 7/16/1932.

[2] LSJ 5/31.1946.

[3] LSJ 9/29/1951. Charles Draper Faulkner 1890-1979 an esteemed who specialized in church design and commercial architecture and was the Arthur of Christian Science Church Edifices.

© Lost Lansing 2017