Michigan Modern: 7 Homes in the Great Lake State

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December 3, 2013
Home to Herman Miller, Michigan has a long and storied modernist pedigree. Here are seven inventive or noteworthy Michigan houses from Dwell's archives.
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  Keira Alexandra and Toby Barlow renovated a two-story townhouse in Detroit's Mies van der Rohe-designed Lafayette Park, the first urban-renewal project in the United States. Photo by Raimund Koch.  Photo by: Raimund Koch

    Keira Alexandra and Toby Barlow renovated a two-story townhouse in Detroit's Mies van der Rohe-designed Lafayette Park, the first urban-renewal project in the United States. Photo by Raimund Koch.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  Architect Scott Rappe designed this weekend retreat for a Chicago couple in Bridgman, Michigan. The house is built on a challenging hillside site and tucked behind a thicket of trees. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.  Photo by: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing

    Architect Scott Rappe designed this weekend retreat for a Chicago couple in Bridgman, Michigan. The house is built on a challenging hillside site and tucked behind a thicket of trees. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.

    Photo by: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing

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  Located on a quiet residential street in Ann Arbor, the home that Tom McMurtrie—the recycling coordinator for the city of Ann Arbor for the past 14 years—shares with his wife, Genia Service, was designed and built with careful attention to energy usage. Though it incorporates energy-efficient materials, a stereotypical hard-core hippie house it is not. Photo by Chad Holder.  Photo by: Chad Holder

    Located on a quiet residential street in Ann Arbor, the home that Tom McMurtrie—the recycling coordinator for the city of Ann Arbor for the past 14 years—shares with his wife, Genia Service, was designed and built with careful attention to energy usage. Though it incorporates energy-efficient materials, a stereotypical hard-core hippie house it is not. Photo by Chad Holder.

    Photo by: Chad Holder

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  Architect Jim Garrison of Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects was asked to design a lakeside retreat for visiting families at a boarding school for troubled teens, Star Commonwealth, in Albion, Michigan. To drastically reduce academic interruption and cut site noise, Garrison decided early on to create an 1,100-square-foot modular building dubbed Koby, with two bedrooms on opposite sides of the structure and a common dining area in the middle “as a therapeutic space for families to gather and eat together.”

    Architect Jim Garrison of Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects was asked to design a lakeside retreat for visiting families at a boarding school for troubled teens, Star Commonwealth, in Albion, Michigan. To drastically reduce academic interruption and cut site noise, Garrison decided early on to create an 1,100-square-foot modular building dubbed Koby, with two bedrooms on opposite sides of the structure and a common dining area in the middle “as a therapeutic space for families to gather and eat together.”

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  Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers spent years rehabilitating the Richard Meir-designed Douglas House in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The double-height living room features a custom sofa and low table of Meier’s design, and an Edward Fields rug based on a sketch Le Corbusier created in 1956 for a Tokyo theater. Photo by Dean Kaufman.

    Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers spent years rehabilitating the Richard Meir-designed Douglas House in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The double-height living room features a custom sofa and low table of Meier’s design, and an Edward Fields rug based on a sketch Le Corbusier created in 1956 for a Tokyo theater. Photo by Dean Kaufman.

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  Dow Chemical put Midland on the map, but architect and local scion Alden B. Dow made it the most modern town in Michigan. Dow’s masterpiece is undoubtedly his home and studio in Midland. Designed in 1933 to be built in stages, the spraw­ling manse seems to rise out of a pond, its green copper roof and bright-white, geometric form seemingly birthed by the landscape. It’s a nearly perfect evocation of a guiding Dow dictum, “Gardens never end, and buildings never begin.”

    Dow Chemical put Midland on the map, but architect and local scion Alden B. Dow made it the most modern town in Michigan. Dow’s masterpiece is undoubtedly his home and studio in Midland. Designed in 1933 to be built in stages, the spraw­ling manse seems to rise out of a pond, its green copper roof and bright-white, geometric form seemingly birthed by the landscape. It’s a nearly perfect evocation of a guiding Dow dictum, “Gardens never end, and buildings never begin.”

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  Modernist furniture may signal worldly tastes, but its American origins lie in Michigan’s humble reaches. It’s here that Keith and Mary Campbell renovated a lakeside cottage in Benzie County, Michigan, into a rustic stage for their heirloom mid-century pieces. Photo by Raimund Koch.  Photo by: Raimund Koch

    Modernist furniture may signal worldly tastes, but its American origins lie in Michigan’s humble reaches. It’s here that Keith and Mary Campbell renovated a lakeside cottage in Benzie County, Michigan, into a rustic stage for their heirloom mid-century pieces. Photo by Raimund Koch.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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