1989 editorial board not fond of Hamster Cage
It’s become an East Lansing landmark, but according to the fall of 1989 editorial board of The State News, the colorful parking garage located on the corner of Division Street and Albert Ave. affectionately known as ‘The Hamster Cage’ was not always so revered.
In an editorial from a 1989 issue of The State News. the board maligned the silly construction of the parking garage, and in what may be one of the first application of its future nickname, likened the building to a “Human Habitrail.”
In more recent years, there has been discussion of re-painting the parking garage’s distinctively garish colors to something that may be more suitable for East Lansing (think green and white).
However, this time The State News’ editorial board stood by the parking garage’s unique style, proving that with time, perceptions change.
The following is the original editorial as taken from the Oct. 17, 1989 edition of The State News — snarkiness and all.
New parking ramp takes on silly shape
We don’t mean to offend East Lansing officials by saying this, but the new downtown parking structure is simply starting to look silly.
The Smurf-colored blue skeleton that’s been permeating the skyline is nearly completed. Now, yellow pipes are shooting out the side of it. And we’re beginning to get worried.
There’s no doubt East Lansing did the right thing in fall of 1988 by pushing ahead with a new parking ramp. The city needed more room to park.
But why such a goofy structure? Why does it have to look like a life-size Habitrail?
Maybe we’re wrong. Some sections of the ramp are scheduled to be open by November, and maybe then the city can do something to cover up those ungodly colors.
It’s just a shame that East Lansing built a beautiful hotel, with a rich, brick and glass exterior, which is now next door to a new wave Lego-like monstrosity.
And who would have thought that the city of East Lansing would paint the largest building downtown blue and yellow? We’re sure it was a real knee slapper for all those U-M fans who came to town last weekend.
East Lansing’s wish to be the “City of the Arts” is a noble one. But please, oh please, in the name of art — don’t build any more horrible looking structures in the future.
Editorial Board/Andrea Budnick, Alyssa Harvey, Bob Helbig, Federico Martinez, John Secor, Peg West