Demolition of the University of Michigan Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Michigan

During the 1950s and 1960s, Alden B. Dow built six university and three civic buildings in Ann Arbor.  Perhaps his most unusual campus building was the University of Michigan Administration Building, which he designed in 1964.  The exterior is like a geometric Mondrian painting rendered in three dimensions.  The brick curtain wall fastened to the […]

Nelson Street School/Parkdale Elementary School by Alden B. Dow

While the initial site plan for Midland High School was being sketched by Alden B. Dow in December of 1953, one corner of the same 60-acre plot of land was soon to become the location of Nelson Street Elementary School.  For the design, the Board of Education again selected Mr. Dow, who completed the drawings […]

Crescent Drive Home Tours Sept 11 2022

Crescent Drive Home Tours MCMM is pleased to announce a return to in-person tours featuring self-guided tours of these three MCM homes on Crescent Drive: For the safety of all, masks will be required while in the homes. Please reserve online at or call 989.839.2744 to book your tour.  Advanced Tickets Sales Only.  Please […]

Northeast Elementary/Plymouth Elementary School by Alden B. Dow

Alden B. Dow began the drawings for Northeast Elementary School in December of 1951.  It had a simple floorplan of five classrooms, an office, and a work room lined up on either side of a single corridor.  It featured a monitor roof with glass block windows rising 5 feet above the roofline.  For the exterior, […]

Alden B. Dow’s Kalamazoo Nature Center Gets a New Dome

After protecting the Sun/Rain Room for nearly six decades, the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s iconic dome and roof are being replaced.  Designed by Alden B. Dow in 1961 and opened to the public in September 1964, the highlight of the Center has been the two-story tall grey Plexiglas dome.  It spans 56 feet in diameter over […]

The Ralph E. Oberlin, Jr. Residence by Alden B. Dow

Alden B. Dow’s only residential structure to be built in Ohio is the Ralph E. Oberlin, Jr. residence in Canton.  Mr. Oberlin was president of Igelstroem-Oberlin, Inc., an outdoor signage, banner, and poster printing company.  He wrote to Mr. Dow about designing a home for his family in early 1960.  Following a meeting to discuss […]

Dr. Mark W. Dick Residence by Alden B. Dow

Dr. Mark Dick and his wife, Dr. Louise Schnute, were pediatricians practicing in Grand Rapids when they wrote to Alden B. Dow in March 1955 to ask if he would design a home for them.  Dr. Schnute had first heard of the architect earlier when she was a resident at the University of Michigan Hospital […]

Indian River Catholic Church by Alden B. Dow

Nestled among tall pines and set into a sloping lot overlooking Burt Lake in northern Michigan, Indian River Catholic Church was designed by Alden B. Dow in 1948.  Very little documentation exists aside from specifications for a church and rectory building—no contract, no building contractor, no cost information, and scant correspondence.  Not readily recognizable as […]

Woodcrest Elementary School by Alden B. Dow

The drawings for Woodcrest Elementary School, one of Alden B. Dow’s last educational projects, were completed in January of 1969.  Construction bids were due in early May of that year, and the Board of Education of Midland Public Schools approved the bids and contractors shortly thereafter on May 12.  Collinson Construction Company of Midland was […]

Herbert Henry Dow High School by Alden B. Dow

Just eight years after the opening of Midland High School, Alden B. Dow began the design of his second high school for his growing hometown.  Named in honor of his father, the site planning and design development phases for Herbert Henry Dow High School unfolded over the course of 1965.  The specifications for a 275,000 […]

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