This week the Christman Company, which specializes in
renovating historically significant buildings, will unveil its $12 million
renovation of the 60,000-square foot Mutual
Building in Downtown Lansing to the public.
According to excerpts from the article:
For the past 11 months, the 60,000-square-foot former
headquarters of Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co., on the east side of
Capitol between Allegan and Ionia streets, has undergone a top-to-bottom-plus
makeover by the Lansing-based design and construction giant Christman Co.,
which will use the top three floors as its new headquarters.
An airy atrium connects the Mutual Building’s
1928 wings after the Christman Co.’s $12 million renovation
The stylish, ergonomic, green-friendly rehab job is all
the more dramatic for its stealth. Because the building, which sat empty for
several years, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its stern
skirt of limestone and brick, along with a host of irreplaceable Art Deco
touches, remains intact.
Behind the façade, however, floats a transparent
back-alley atrium where designers sit at conference tables and hover over the
old bricks like time travelers.
Steve Roznowski, Christman’s president and CEO, can’t
stop climbing to the top of the building and swiveling his chair, because the
design team also frosted the building with an airy “five-and-a-halfth” floor —
a corporate aerie completely invisible from street level.
Putting on his business face, Roznowski explained that
company planners projected the space needed for the firm’s 60 Lansing employees as “more than two floors,
but not quite three floors.” (Christman has about 100 more employees working
from four regional offices in Michigan and one
Then Roznowski gave the real reason. “The cool factor,”
he grinned as he swiveled. “Wouldn’t it be neat to have floor-to-ceiling glass
conference space up there? We knew anything we did up here would be supercool.”
Another quarter-turn, and Roznowski surveyed the city
like “The Simpsons’” Mr. Burns.
“There’s Christman buildings everywhere you look,” he
said. (“Excellent, Smithers.”) The Capitol dome itself, meticulously restored
by a huge Christman-led team in the ‘90s, was the most conspicuous.
“It’s an inspiring view,” he crowed. “I’m beginning to
Read the entire article here.