The Parker Frisselle Residence by Alden B Dow

Parker Frisselle joined the Dow Chemical Company as a salesman in 1943 and advanced to become manager of consumer product development.  His wife Dorothy was the daughter of Ruth Dow Doan and Leland I. Doan, president of Dow Chemical from 1949 to 1962.  The site for which he was to have Alden B. Dow design his home was on a heavily-wooded lot on Snowfield Court.

Several different schemes exist for the Frisselle residence, changing in footprint and size, before a basically triangular layout was finalized in August of 1950.  Because of the difficulty in securing a builder to construct the house on that property, an agreement was reached in October that Alden B. Dow, Incorporated, would serve as general contractor.  The estimated cost of $75,600 increased to just under $85,000 by the time the house was completed.

On the exterior, a flat roof with narrow wood fascia projects slightly over rosy Chicago common brick walls.  A covered walkway leads from the garage to the entrance.  Once inside, to the right is a line of floor to ceiling windows shaded by a saw-toothed roof edge.  To the left is the angled living room with a built-in sofa along the only wall of the room and a brick hearth in the corner.  The room looks out onto a landscaped courtyard.  Just off the living room, the dining room has its own raised brick hearth; above, 25 small ceiling lights are connected by an exposed wire grid.  Next to the dining room are the kitchen and laundry room.


Following the brick flooring past the entry and the living room leads to the private area and the master bedroom with adjoining dressing room and bathroom.  Two smaller bedrooms nearby share a bathroom.  A fourth bedroom is off the kitchen and has its own bath and separate exterior entrance.

The interior walls throughout the home are of the same brick as the exterior; edge grain fir is used for the woodwork.  The ceilings feature exposed wood beams and roof boards, and the expansive windows provide views of nature at every turn.  Mr. Dow designed a garden house and greenhouse addition in 1953, and added a playroom and a pool in 1956.  

In an unfortunate event that made headlines in the Midland Daily News, Mr. Frisselle drowned following a sailboat mishap on Higgins Lake in August 1963.  His wife Dorothy later remarried Ned Arbury and continued to live in the home until she died in 2012.  The house was razed in 2014.

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