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.
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