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Okay, it appears I’ve been on hiatus…. August 3, 2011

Posted by Danielle in Family Stuff.
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It has been forever and a day since I last posted.  What can I say?  Life has been extremely hectic lately between life in general and family issues.  But hopefully things are starting to get back on track at this point!

Back in July, John and Marilyn came up to visit.  Unfortunately, they only got to visit for a short time with Drake but we made the most of it.  Because our time was so short, I didn’t take too many pictures this year… but I got a really nice one of the three of them in the water in New Baltimore.

Drake, Marilyn, and John in the river

We actually stayed overnight at Algonac State Park, but this year it was just one night, and then they had to leave to head back to Georgia.

This past Monday, Mom, Dad, Drake, and I went to the Dow House in Midland, Michigan.  We had read an article about it in the newspaper, and it looked very interesting.  Mr. Dow was the son of the Dow Chemical Company founder.  He became an architect who had a style similar to Frank Lloyd Wright.  His house was extremely large, very modern, and yet it had a warm, cosy feeling to it.  He defined his space quite well, and he was constantly using the closing in and opening up of spaces to draw your attention to something, to make you feel invited into a space, or to keep you moving through a space.

Front gate leading to the house

Here are Dad and Drake waving.  This is the drive up to the main house.

Main drive and first view of the house

This is the first view we had of the house itself.  Mr. Dow was much more interested in making the guests and people inside the house feel warm and invited into a space.  He was much less concerned with the outward appearance of the house.  The building actually consisted of two spaces, one living area for the family which was 15,000 square feet and a working area which was approximately another 5,000 square feet.  I was absolutely amazed at the size of the house.  It did not feel that large at all!  We entered the reception area and signed in for the tour (Daria was our guide, and she was excellent!) before being seated in the conference area.  It was down a few steps and in an area surrounded by a large, man-made pond.

Part of the pond surrounding the house

This graveled pathway led around from the back, more private entrace to the house to the front of the house, where business was conducted.  The pond went, I believe, 3/4 of the way around the house.  Daria said that the children used to paddle around in it quite often. There was a large outdoor screened porch where you could get a breathtaking view of the area.  It was so peaceful!  The portion of the house that you can see in the photograph is the conference room.  The guide said that at certain times of the day, you can get the sunlight reflecting the water on the ceiling, and you actually get the feeling that you are underwater in that room.

The house itself was ingenious.  It had many built ins, so the bedrooms (for exaxmple) did not feel as confining as they would have if furniture like dressers had been necessary.  The kitchen was mostly a 1950’s style.  Yet they had updated it with a microwave that fit the style of the kitchen.  There was a huge room where many of Mr. Dow’s blueprints are filed.  It had been a game room for the children at one time, and it now showcases the many toys that Mr. Dow had collected over the years.  Apparently, he was a train fanatic, and there were train tracks running all over the house.

The house is definitely worth a visit if you ever get a chance.  I would like to go back one day and visit the gardens as well.

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