LANSING, Mich. — The first home designed by Darius Moon sits on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with broken windows, but one Lansing woman is hoping to turn it all around.
Moon was one of Lansing's premier architects.
"He came here at a young age...and he built this house, the first house he did in 1874. And he lived here the rest of his life. He was here, even in the '20s and '30s, building houses in Lansing," said Dale Schrader, president of Preservation Lansing.
Moon is known for his work on Victorian homes, Queen Anne designs and his trim work around the windows. Schrader said Moon built nearly 40 homes and commercial properties in Lansing.
For Alesia Flowers, the house was always her dream home.
"As a child we lived on Huron which is two blocks over. And we would pass this house anywhere from three to four times a week. And as a kid, I was infatuated with it," Flowers said.
She begged her father to buy the house, but it was too expensive. In 2019 with $8,500 and a dream, Flowers finally bought it.
"I'm very proud to own this property. If I couldn't own the last home he lived in, I now own the first home he lived in," she said.
If walls could talk, the house would tell you all about it being used by squatters, numerous break ins, foreclosures and the fire in 2017 that damaged the back of the house.
"It traded through a number of different owners that really didn't have the best interest of the property in mind; they were just trying to make a fast buck," said Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing. "Eventually the the last person that owned it that bought it for like $10,000 didn't pay the taxes and I foreclosed, so it has really been empty for more than a decade."
The inside of the house is all wood, holes and hanging wires, but Flower's plan looks beyond that.
"What I want to do is on the upper two levels, we want to do two apartments, one on each side because it is a double house. And downstairs. on the north side of the house. We want to have a co op working space for nonprofits and for profit businesses," she said.
The renovations will cost around $400,000 for the 3,000-square-foot home.
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