Original Biggby building on the chopping block

The Lansing City Pulse has an article this week about the building housing the first Biggby Coffee, which is the locally owned coffee chain in town and which I discovered early on after moving to MI.

The premise of this weekly column bothers me a little; even weeks it’s Eyecandy of the Week, then on odd weeks it’s Eyesore of the Week, wherein they name a run-down property and its owner and print a picture, presumably to shame them into doing something about the appearance.  We have a big problem with urban blight here (in WI I thought that word was only applied to tomato plants), so I guess the Pulse is trying to come up with a creative way to address it.

The article this week uses words to describe the former mid-century Arby’s that I think also fit the coffee chain itself: “Biggby’s first café building is iconic, with an unapologetically exuberant, unrestrained design.”  I agree that I’ll be a little sad to see this old building go.  It features a nice outdoor patio, and is a cheery design for a building that houses a 24-hour coffee shop, indeed one of only two places I know of in town to go late at night.  I am also a little irked that we feel the need to be ripping down perfectly functional, occupied buildings in East Lansing to make student apartments, while Lansing itself is in need of a little attention.  I sense the rift between these two communities growing wider.

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