Alden B. Dow, the son of the founder of The Dow Chemical Company, started designing structures with leaves when he was eight. He opened an architectural office in 1934 in his hometown of Midland, Michigan, and added on a home for his young family to move into in 1941. Open today as a learning center for design, architecture, and creativity, and designated as a National Historic Landmark, visitors are inspired by the blending of nature into inside spaces. Designed with "honesty, humility and enthusiasm," three of the guiding principles in all his future works, the building is a classic in the successful and delicate blending of landscape and architecture. In addition to over sixty homes in Midland, Michigan, Alden B. Dow designed many residences in other parts of the United States. During World War II, he designed and personally supervised the construction of the entire town of Lake Jackson, Texas, as his father’s chemical company expanded there and needed homes for plant workers.

Submitted by Cindy Newman

Mid-Century Modern Michigan Service Stations by Alden B. Dow
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, automobile designs were characterized by head-turning tailfins and sleek lines.
Hometown Hero
Dow Chemical put Midland on the map, but architect and local scion Alden B. Dow made it the most modern town in Michigan.