Alden B. Dow research trip

In late 2011, our friends at Triangle Modernist Houses in Raleigh, North Carolina selected Mid-Century Michigan as one of the recipients of the Macon Smith research grant. For this honor I feel extreme gratitude and deeply indebted. As a thank-you to Triangle Modernist Houses, I offered to explore some of the Alden B. Dow works in Midland that were missing photos on TMH’s already fantastic online archive.

The trip to Midland led us on a journey through a massive sprawl of some of Dow’s finest residential work. Driving from neighborhood to neighborhood in Midland is like exploring a mysterious treasure-trove of mid-century modern mastery, as Dow’s work is literally everywhere one looks.

The pilgrimage to Midland was successful for not only TMH, but Mid-Century Michigan as well, as it provided time to explore the archives of the Alden B. Dow home and studio, where primary documents on Dow’s two Grand Rapids’ projects were ready for review. A special thanks goes out to Daria Potts who works in the archives for her hospitality and help in providing original drawings, correspondence, and articles during my visit. The large manila envelope I left with is filled with photocopies of some of this valuable information, and will help round out the stories of Dow’s Grand Rapids homes when it comes time to present them here.

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