Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, also known as Alden B. Dow Home & Studio, in Midland, Michigan, is the home and studio that were the residence and acknowledged masterpiece of 20th century architect Alden B. Dow. The quality and originality of his work, as well as his association with Frank Lloyd Wright, have earned him lasting national recognition.Plan your visit to Alden Dow Home and Studio and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Midland trip builder.
Construction for the first studio began in 1934, while the majority of the United States was struggling through the Great Depression. With the Dow Chemical Company located in Midland Michigan, the community had not been hit as hard as the rest of the country. Being that Alden was a child of the Dow Chemical founder, Herbert H. Dow, he had many opportunities within Midland to practice architecture. The first studio was completed in 1935 and construction for the second studio began in 1936. The second studio was completed in 1937. The studio was created as a workplace for Alden's architectural firm. As well as the two drafting rooms, there was also an entry and reception area and the sunken conference room, which sits below water level. The pond was created by diverting the stream that ran through the property. The studio portion also had a woodshop, an office and Alden's office which was the buffer between the studio and home. The woodshop has been turned into a museum with a gift shop.
Dow built his home and studio between 1937 and 1940. Throughout the home there are visible construction materials including the building blocks that were patented in 1935, "Unit Blocks". Alden Dow's exploration of block construction began after graduating from the Columbia School of Architecture in 1931 and an eight-month apprenticeship at Taliesin in 1933. Alden Dow, along with Robert Goodall, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's draftsman, created a rhomboid block, mostly with a square face in 16 different sizes. This became known as Alden B. Dow's Unit Block building system. Dow used them to form walls and terraces, as well as decoration elements such as the stepping stones in the surrounding pond on the property. In addition to the unique shape and structural integrity of the building blocks, the other identifying characteristic of the Unit Blocks was that they were made of the cinder that he saw piling up outside The Dow Chemical Company furnaces. His father, Herbert Dow, had utilized this same cinder waste to construct “clinker” bridges in their family gardens (now, Dow Gardens).
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
It was awarded the Paris Prize for Residential Architecture in 1937.
The house is open to the public for tours and abuts the Dow Gardens.
Traditional Home magazine listed the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio on a 2014 list of "The 25 Best Historic Homes in America", Great Estates: A new look at historic house museums
Alden Dow Home and Studio reviews
What a gem! A must stop if you are interested in history, architecture, visionaries or just curious. The thoughtful details of Mr. Dow's designs are inspiring and humbling. His large studio and home..... more
What a gem! A must stop if you are interested in history, architecture, visionaries or just curious. The thoughtful details of Mr. Dow's designs are inspiring and humbling. His large studio and home..... more »
Wow! This is a wonderful gem in Midland. My husband, 20 y.o. niece, and I all enjoyed the tour. Our tour guide Nancy did a wonderful job answering questions and providing both personal and...
Wow! This is a wonderful gem in Midland. My husband, 20 y.o. niece, and I all enjoyed the tour. Our tour guide Nancy did a wonderful job answering questions and providing both personal and... more »
If you have the time and the opportunity to explore this amazing place, do not pass it by. This tour allows us to see the way one of the most powerful families in 20th Century U.S. history lived their lives. Of course, the architecture and design are astounding - breathtaking and inspiring. The guides on both occasions I have had the good fortune to tour are beyond knowledgeable - and have first-hand experiences with the Dow family, making the information they share its own special, intimate insight into the Dows. If you can do this - DO IT! Extraordinary experience.
We really enjoyed our tour (May 2022). Sarah did a great job and answered all our questions. Fascinating look into a creative and generous family.
Plan your trip to Midland
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.Know more
Popular things to do in Midland
Side trips from Midland
Hidden gems in Midland
Nearby attractions in Midland
Parks in Midland
Shopping in Midland
Trips in Alden Dow Home and Studio by other users
60 days in Ann Arbor BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA Nickels Arcade Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Law Quadrangle 22 days in Detroit BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Detroit 40 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM GERMANY Mackinac Island Paradise Traverse City 61 days in East Lansing BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Michigan History Center Michigan State University Horticultural Gardens Michigan State University 15 days in Detroit BY A USER FROM BRAZIL Frankenmuth Lager Mill Bronner's Christmas Wonderland Boat Tours & Water Sports 21 days in Great Lakes Bay Region BY A USER FROM GERMANY Saginaw