Alden B. Dow | FAIA | Architect
Born in Midland, Michigan on April 10, 1904, Alden B. Dow was the son of Grace Ball Dow and Herbert Henry Dow, Founder of the Dow Chemical Company. He attended the University of Michigan studying engineering with plans to join his father’s firm. However, after three years, his keen interest in design led him to the study of architecture at Columbia University. After earning his degree in 1931, Mr. Dow joined an architectural firm in Saginaw, Michigan.
During the summer of 1933, young Mr. Dow studied and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Wisconsin. In Wright, he found a kindred spirit. Their shared interest in organic architecture strengthened Mr. Dow’s own work and philosophy.
Returning to Midland, he opened his own architectural offices in a studio/home of his own design. Today the firm is known as DOW-Howell-Gilmore Associates, Inc. the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
During his career, Mr. Dow was commissioned to design homes, churches, schools, college campuses, business complexes, art and civic centers and during World War II to design and personally supervise the construction of the entire town of Lake Jackson. His residences, which were especially appealing to the aesthetically sensitive, earned him sixty commissions in Midland, Michigan as well as many others across the United States.
Among his many awards and honors, Mr. Dow received the 1937 Diplome de Grand Prix for residential architecture. He was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1957. In 1983, crowning his achievements of his fifty- year career, Mr. Dow was named architect laureate of his home state of Michigan.