Mr. and Mrs. Dow began renting different cottages in Northern Michigan very early in their marriage. Eventually they would buy and renovate a cottage in Cottage Grove Association on the north side of Higgins Lake. It is here that they made many life-long friendships and connections.
One of the couples, Peters (Pat) and Martha Oppermann became close personal friends and travel companions with Alden and Vada. Mr. Dow and Pat Oppermann shared a love of playfulness, creativity and fun. When the two of them started a project, you knew the results were going to be wonderful.
When the Dow and Oppermanns traveled together, there was always movie making equipment that went along. They took movies in Montreal, Germany and many other destinations they explored together. Mr. Oppermann would also become the “Star” of two original productions Mr. Dow made, Pat’s Bath and Little Beach Blossom.
It seems no matter what Mr. Dow and Mr. Opperman were creating together; a music venue called the Dell, movies, themed parties or new inventions, it would always have a sense of fun and playfulness. These were two men who recognized and appreciated the talents of the other. When they combined their ideas and energy together, the results were amazing. Mr. Dow designed buildings for the Oppermanns and Mr. Opperman designed sound systems for Mr. Dow and many of the structures he designed. Their friendship crisscrossed personal and professional lines and the results of their collaborations impacted and delighted all that were able to see them in action together.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the Alden B Dow Home and Studio continues to engage the imagination and elicits emotional responses in all who experience this powerful statement of Mid-Twentieth Century Modern architecture. Planted into an encompassing pond, the Home and Studio is alive with reflective light, soaring roof lines, diverging angles, brilliant color and the perfect balance of enticement and tranquility. It truly is an “oasis of architecture and inspiration.” Schedule your visit for architectural tours, educational programs, Michigan history and much more.