ALDEN B. DOWMid-Century Modern Architect
Alden B. Dow, FAIA (1904-1983) was the son of the founder of Dow Chemical Company. After beginning university study in chemical engineering, Dow switched his field of study to architecture, graduating in 1931 from the Columbia University School of Architecture. Dow was among the first group of Frank Lloyd Wright’s fellows at Taliesin in 1933, although he did not remain there long, returning to his Midland Michigan home to begin work on his own commissions. He had a long and prolific career, designing over 550 structures including homes, industrial buildings, schools, civic structures and churches. About 60% of his designs were actually built, and the largest concentration of his buildings is in the Midwestern United States. Dow was a modest man who reverently wove nature, creativity, and quality into every space, believing in developing “the greatest possible number of pleasing relationships between the structure, its surroundings and the occupants.”(1) Dow homes are quite varied in form, however he is known for characteristic built-in casework and the incorporation of often extremely bold colors.
(1) “About the Author” section of dust jacket: Reflections by Alden B. Dow, Northwood Institute, 1970