PROJECTS

During his 50 year career in architecture, Alden Dow designed over 560 projects not only in the state of Michigan but also throughout the United States. Whether designing homes for the individual or the family, work spaces for industry, worship spaces for religious communities, or schools and civic buildings, Alden Dow believed the architect always played an important role in creating harmony between people, materials and ideas.  Good architecture responds to the land and its culture. In 1944, Alden Dow said, “I have no idea what my next design for a building will look like, but I do know it will not look anything like the one I have just completed, and that is not because of me, but because of the individual or individuals that are going to use the next building.”

The progressive climate of the pre and post war years encouraged Alden Dow’s  interest in new technology, new materials and innovative designs.  His buildings combined the functional with imagination and creativity.  For five decades, Alden Dow successfully pioneered architectural designs that are still timely today.

In The Archives

Midland Project

The Dr. William Schuette Residence by Alden B. Dow

Dr. William Schuette was a chemical engineer and the general manager of the Midland Division of the Dow Chemical Company.  When Alden B. Dow met with Dr. and Mrs. Schuette in 1958 to discuss their requirements in a home, the couple had two daughters and a son.  In addition to

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Michigan Project

The LeRoy Smith Residence by Alden B. Dow

LeRoy Smith and his family lived in Highland Park, Michigan, but owned land along the St. Clair River near Algonac for summer trips.  In the late 1930’s, they decided to build a summer house on the property to take advantage of the river view.  Mr. Smith wrote to Alden B.

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Midland Project

The Anderson and Dorothy Dow Arbury Residence

The unit block home Alden B. Dow designed for his younger sister Dorothy and her husband Anderson Arbury in 1939 was grand in scale and unique in appearance. The design follows that of a pinwheel, with the center on the entrance that lies at the intersection of four wings. One

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Michigan Project

The University of Michigan Botanical Gardens by Alden B. Dow

In 1958 the University of Michigan commissioned Alden B. Dow to design a complex of greenhouses, laboratories, classrooms, and offices for its relocated and expanded botanical gardens.  Key features of the complex include a large conservatory, an open auditorium with a large bank of windows overlooking the display gardens, and

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Residences

Built (64, if you count the Sandwich Panel houses as 3 structures)

Anderson Arbury

Ashmun, Josephine

Ball, Howard

Ballmer, Robert

Baptist Parsonage

Barclay. A.C.

Bass, Shailer

Bennett, Robert

Bergstein, Leonard

Blackhurst, R.T.

Boonstra, Frank

C.B. Branch Residence – formerly Dow Biological Lab and Greenhouse

Butenschoen, Louis

Campbell, Calvin

Cavanaugh, Joseph

Colburn, Lyle

Collinson, John

Diehl, O.C.

Doan, Herbert (Valley Dr.)

Doan, Leland (Valley Dr.)

Dow, Alden B. Residence

Dow, Alden B. Shanty

Dow, H.H. (Sugnet)

Dow Test House (Carras)

Dreisbach, Robert

Frisselle, Parker

Gabel, Arnold

Goodall, Robert

Grant, Leo

Grebe, Dr. John (1941)

Greene, George

Hanson, A.W.

Harlow, Frank

Heath, Sheldon

House for $3000 (John Best)

House, Small 100 (Charles Bachman)

House for Blackhurst Realty

House, Dow Chemical 101 (Conner)

Howell, Dr. R.H.

Ingersoll House (Gwizdala)

Irish, Dr, Don

Lewis, F.W.

MacCallum, Dr. Charles

MacMartin, E.G.

Marshall, Stephen

Morrison, Charles

Olson., George

Pardee, James T.

Penhaligan, Charles

Reinke, Robert

Rich, Philip

Riecker, John

Rowland, Dan

Sandwich Panel (3)

Schuette, William

Sherk, J. L.

Smith, Donald

Stein, Earl

Whiting, Macauley

Whitman, John

Wildes, Kenneth

Yates, William

Alterations (14)

Arbury Cottage

Arbury, Howard

Ashmun, Heber

Ballmer, Robert

Barstow, E.O.

Bennett, E.W.

Doan, Herbert (Dennis Court)

Doan, Leland (Main Street)

Dow, H.H. (Main Street)

Dow, Willard

Edick, Rex

Panter, J.A.

Pardee, Dr. James T.

Sherk, J.H. (Revere)

Not Built (27)

Bennett, Donald R.

Bildor Idea House

Bulmer, Dr. D.J.

Burdick, Mr. and Mrs. E.C.

Carras, Peter

Collinson, John – W-Frame

Grebe, Dr. John (1958)

Heatley, Lynn

Howe, Dr. and Mrs.

Hunter, Dr.

Kirk, Elmer

LeFevre, Milton

Loose, Mr. and Mrs. William

Low Cost Housing for Midland

Low Cost House, Midland

Low Cost House #10, Midland

Maher, Mr. and Mrs. John

Morrison, C.N.

Munson, Nils –W-Frame

Munson, Nils

Peloubet, Mr. and Mrs. John

Putnam

Surath, William

Vosburgh, Dr. Addition

Ward,

Webster

Zass, Leo

Religious

Built (10)

Ashman Street Church of God

First Methodist Church

Holy Family Episcopal

Nease Memorial Church of the Nazarene

Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ)

St. John’s Episcopal Church

St. John’s Lutheran Church

Salvation Army Chapel

Salvation Army Citadel

Seventh Day Adventist Church

Alterations  (2)

Midland Jewish Center

Presbyterian Church Kitchen and Manse

Not Built (4)

Church of the Nazarene

Lutheran Church

Memorial Chapel for Midland

Civic (17)

Built

Central Park Pool and Bathhouse

Chippewa Nature Center

Dow Gardens Greenhouse

Dow Gardens Information Building

Farmer’s Market

King’s Daughters

Midland Band Shell

Midland Center for the Arts

Midland Community Center

Midland Country Club

Midland County Courthouse Jail Addition

Midland Fire Station #1

Midland Hospital

Midland Hospital Medical Building

Midland Public Library

Midland Skating Rink Building

Winterberry Girls Scout Camp, Midland County

Alterations (1)

Arcade Building

Not Built (8)

Concert Stage for Emerson Park

Elks Club

Emerson Park

Midland Band Shell (Proposed)

Midland County Infirmary

Midland Hospital Intern Housing

Midland Hospital Nurses Home

River Drive for the City of Midland

Educational (12, counting Northwood as 1 project, 21 counting the 10 Northwood Projects)

Barrett School District #7

Herbert Henry Dow High School

Mapleton Elementary School

Midland High School

North Intermediate School (Jefferson)

Northeast Elementary (Plymouth)

Northeast High School (Northeast Intermediate)

Northwood Institute (10)

Parents’ and Children’s School

Parkdale Elementary

Regina Catholic Girls High School

Woodcrest Elementary School

Additions (1)

Chestnut Hill Elementary School Addition

Not Built (1)

Airport Road Elementary School Site

Commercial (31)

Bay Refining Gas Station

Carras Law Office

Chemical State Savings Bank (Jefferson Drive-In Branch)

Church and Guisewite Advertising

Cleveland Manor

Consumers Power

Alden B. Dow Studio

Dow Chemical 2010 Building

Dow Chemical 2020 Building

Dow Chemical 2030 Building

Dow Chemical 2040 Building

Dow Chemical Covered Walkway

Dow Chemical Agricultural Research Center

Dow Chemical Biomedical Laboratory

Dow Chemical Bio Products Office Building

Dow Chemical Clockroom

Dow Chemical Medical Building

Dow Chemical Nuclear Research Laboratory

Dow Chemical Plastics Sales Office and Warehouse – Building 433

Dow Chemical Polymer Research Laboratory

Dow Corning Building #114 Addition

Gillespie Building

Laboratory for Macromolecular Science

Lape Building

Midland National Bank – Patrick Block

The New Midland National Bank – Larkin and McDonald Streets

Midland National Bank, Circle Branch

The New First National Bank and Trust – Eastman and Saginaw Rd.

Office Building for Osborn and Goodnight

Phoenix Sprlinkler and Heating Co.

Smith’s Flower Store

Alterations (8)

Cassidy Theater Restaurant and Bar

Chemical State Savings Bank Alteration

Dow Chemical 47 Building Alterations

Heisman Company (also see Patrick Block Alteration)

Midland Federal Savings and Loan Alteration

Patrick Block Building Alteration

Rich Publishing

Store Building for Peter Moutsatson

Not Built (24)

Apartment Building for Midland

Brown Lumber Co.

Burgess Music Store

Dow Chemical East Clockroom Addition

Dow Chemical Composite Laboratory

Dow Chemical Organic Laboratory

Dow Corning Boiler House

Dow Corning Guard Tower

Dow Corning Power House

Dow Corning Service Building and Laboratory

Elks Club

Frolic Theater

Gordon Oil and Atha Supply Co.

Knepps Store Alteration

Lapelles Flower Store

Midland Professional Building

Mode Motors

A Motel Idea

Oviatt’s Bakery

Ella Rogners Beauty Shop

Store for Mr. and Mrs. Leo Solosky – “Pick and Run”

Wilson Funeral Home Addition and Alteration

U.S. 10 and State Road Intersection Building

C.H. Wright Store Alteration

Midland, Michigan is the showcase of Alden B. Dow’s architectural work. Although he designed over 600 projects throughout his career, this small, mid-western town highlights over 130 of his architectural designs. His father, Herbert H. Dow, may have formed the industry that supports the city, but Alden Dow created the architectural texture that defines it. Houses, religious buildings, schools, civic structures, and commercial projects are all a part of Alden B. Dow’s legacy to Midland. His appreciation and standard of quality, innovation and progressive design will continue to challenge our thinking and ways to approach architecture.

Throughout his career Alden B.Dow designed and built over 350 structures in his home state of Michigan.  He created daring and innovative designs for family living, as well as new expressions of how buildings enhance work, worship and learning. His architecture created an appreciation and standard for design and innovation throughout Michigan.    In honor of this many structures and his influence on the architecture throughout the state, Alden B. Dow was named the Architect Laureate of Michigan in 1983.  Although Alden Dow has been gone for more than a quarter century, his appreciation, devotion and commitment to quality, in all aspects of life, continues to challenge peoples’ thoughts and ideas to strive to find the best possible solutions.

Mr. Dow’s designs are integrated into communities throughout the state including Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Adrian, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Okemos, Saginaw, Bay City, Flint, Lapeer, Post Huron, Algonac, St. Claire Shores, Ann Arbor, Harrison, Petoskey and Traverse City.    

Freeport, Texas

In the late 1930’s Alden Dow was called upon by his older brother Willard, who was running The Dow Chemical Company to design housing for Freeport, an emerging city on the gulf coast of Texas. With much of Europe at war and America  on its cusp of it, Dow Chemical engineers were sent to the gulf area to create ways to extract elements, primarily magnesium, from the ocean that would be used in the production of war goods. With the growing work force needed to sustain the ever-multiplying plants, created a demand for housing. Texas was already experiencing a housing shortage even before the advent of new industry. Alden Dow’s ideas of low cost, modular construction were put to the test to create housing for this growing workforce.

Initially, Alden Dow created a one-story motel with twenty-three guest rooms that was constructed in three weeks time in 1940. Dow developed plans for modular three- and four-bedroom houses that could be adapted to include other amenities such as screen porches and garages. There were a total of 53 of these houses constructed in addition to a hospital, school and a six-family apartment building that was similar to the original hotel. He also designed a “worker’s camp” that was known as Camp Chemical. Creating prefabricated walls, roofs and floors, roughly two thousand carpenters turned out one cottage every ten minutes, six every hour, sixty each day. Roads paved with oyster shells covered a modern water and sewer system. Construction began in February 20, 1942, and just a month later, a new town was open for business. This company town, big enough for as many as twenty thousand, blossomed in the Texas salt marsh.

Lake Jackson, Texas

In late 1941, the Dow Chemical Company was trying to attract permanent employees to its Freeport operation. Most people were not excited to live in the storm-prone coast city of Freeport. Dow Chemical purchased 5,000 acres north of Freeport in an area that was part of the former Abner Jackson Plantation. Alden Dow’s dream was to create an ideal residential community where a rewarding home life would be separate from industrial labor. Construction began in 1942 and by April 1943, Lake Jackson was a running city. Alden Dow would design every element of the city; road ways, housing, commercial structures, civic structures, schools, and churches. Residential areas were planned out so that each piece of property was garden-like and created ultimate privacy. Primary streets were designated as drives, while roads leading to the commercial area, which was set off by itself, were called ways. About five hundred single-family homes and another two hundred duplexes were built in a garden setting of trees, parks and lakes. The Federal Government subsidized the duplex apartments and offered FHA loans for homeowners.

Lake Jackson was a chance of a lifetime for Alden Dow to design an entire city while showing how innovative and efficient he could be in designing functional, pleasing structures for people to live, work, worship, and learn.

Although the bulk of Dow’s work is situated in his home state of Michigan, he was a registered architect in fourteen states; Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York. His work, in states other than Michigan, was mostly residential, with seven designs realized. Residential designs were created in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania. In addition to residential structures, he designed the Phoenix Civic Center in Arizona and Temple Beth El in Spring Valley, New York. As is typical with all architects, he designed several buildings for other states that were never realized. Those plans, in addition to other designs not realized, are held in the Alden B. Dow Archives.

      

To schedule an appointment to access items in the archives, email or call 989-839-2744

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