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The George W. Cannon Residence by Alden B. Dow

The George W. Cannon Residence by Alden B. Dow

George W. Cannon was the founder of the Cannon-Muskegon Corporation, a company that developed and produced alloy metals for the global jet engine industry and is still in business today.  He was an enthusiastic sportsman with a special love for boating throughout his life.  He and his wife Mary Ellen owned a heavily-wooded lot on Mona Lake in Muskegon.  They first approached Alden B. Dow about designing a home for their large family in May of 1957.

Preliminary floorplans were drawn for a 6800 square foot home in June 1959.  Over the next two years, several different designs were produced – a brick exterior with flat roof, split fieldstone exterior, stacked quarry stone exterior with flat roof, then finally a concrete block exterior with a low-pitched roof in 1961.  Following many exchanges between client and architect over the interior layout and other details, a construction contract was signed in April 1962 for the cost of $120,000.

The final drawings show a low-pitched roof over an offset concrete block exterior where two courses of 10 inch blocks alternate with one course of 8 inch blocks.  This pattern was utilized by Mr. Dow on the exterior of the 1960 Washburne residence in Okemos, Michigan.  A long covered walkway connects the garage to the home.  Immediately inside the slate entryway and off to one side are a bird room and a plant room with domed skylights above.  

The living room is directly ahead with the master bedroom situated to the left and four children’s bedrooms lined up in a row off the right side of the living room.  Extensive windows provide striking views of the lake from these rooms.  A large dining room and kitchen are also located on this level. The woodwork throughout the home is vertical grain Douglas fir. The lower level has a walk-out terrace, large recreation room, a maid’s room/guest room, and a room designated as a fallout shelter.  An outdoor swimming pool was added in 1969.

Did you know? Appointments are welcome to view or study any of the Archives materials featured in this post and can be arranged by contacting us at archives@abdow.org. 

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