ARCHITECTURAL FORUM September 1936. Portfolio of Houses by Alden B. Dow, Railway Station in Florence Italy.

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THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM: September 1936

Howard Myers [Editor]

Howard Myers [Editor]: THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM. Jersey City: Rogers and Manson, Inc. [Volume 65, Number 3, September 1936]. A very good or better vintage magazine with wire spiral binding and minor shelf wear. The spiral binding is in unusually good condition and does not bind any pages when opened. A nice copy thus. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out of print.

8.75 x 11.75 spiral-bound magazine with 178 pages of editorial content showcasing the Architectural and Industrial Design of the American Streamline Moderne Machine Age aesthetic. There are also an excellent assortment of vintage trade advertisements that espouse the depression moderne streamline aesthetic quite nicely.

CONTENTS:

  • Fairs: History of Fair Design from 1797, 1851, 1853, 1876, 1893, 1933, 1935, 1936 into the future of 1939.
  • Portfolio of Houses by Alden B. Dow: House In Midland, Michigan,  the Earl Stein House,  the J. A. Cavanaugh House, the John Whitman House, the O. C. Diehl House and the Alden B. Dow Office.
  • Railway Station in Florence Italy: Giovanni Michelucci, Nello Baroni, Pier Niccolo Berardi, Italo Gamberini, Sarre Guarnieri, and Leonardo Lusanna. 8 pages and 19 images.
  • Contemporary Building: Theatre in Marquette Michigan by Michael M. Hare; Miami Beach Hotel by Martin L. Hampton; Utility Company Builing in Wappinger Falls, NY by Louis Booth; Office Store in Poughkeepsie, NY by Edward C. Smith.
  • Cost Techniques
  • British Building Boom Part II
  • Building Money
  • Departments include The Month in Building: Fort Worth Festival: 6 Photographs; Letter from John Lloyd Wright, Books, Forum of Events and Products and Practice: Neuvogue bathroom sink by Henry Dreyfuss

“Gardens never end and buildings never begin” is how Alden B. Dow F.A.I.A (1904-1983) described his own individual organic design philosophy. Dow  was an American architect based in Midland, Michigan and known for his contributions to the style of Michigan Modern. During a career that spanned from the 1930s to the 1960s, he designed more than 70 residences and dozens of churches, schools, civic and art centers, and commercial buildings. His personal residence, the Midland Center for the Arts, and the 1950s Grace A. Dow Library (named in honor of his mother) are among numerous examples of his work located in his hometown of Midland, Michigan. The son of Herbert Henry Dow (founder of the Dow Chemical Company) and philanthropist Grace A. Dow, Dow is known for his prolific architectural designs.

Alden B. Dow attended the Midland Public Schools through high school. He attended the University of Michigan to study engineering in preparation to join his father's chemical manufacturing company. After three years, Dow transferred as a student of architecture at Columbia University, where he graduated in 1931.

That year he married Vada Bennett, also of Midland. Her father Earl Bennett worked at the Dow Chemical Company, a major employer in the city. The couple had three children together: Michael Lloyd Dow, Mary Lloyd Dow, and Barbara Alden Dow.

After Alden Dow worked for a year and a half with the architectural firm of Frantz and Spence in nearby Saginaw, he and Vada studied with architect Frank Lloyd Wright at his Taliesin studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin for the summer in 1933.

Following his brief —“a few months”— apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright, Dow opened his own studio in 1934 in Midland.

Dow described his own philosophy of design as “Architecture is more than the front face of the building. It is the location of the building. It is the plan of the building. It is the construction of the building. It is the heating and cooling of the building. It is the furnishing of the building. It is the landscaping of the building. It is, in its entirety, the manifestation of wholesome living.”

He received the Diplome de Grand Prix at that 1937 Paris International Exposition for best residential design in the world, based on the design of his residence and also for his work on the John Whitman residence.

In 1941, Dow officially incorporated his business as Alden B. Dow, Inc. The following year, Dow was tasked with designing a company town in Texas for workers at his father's Dow Chemical Company's site near Freeport, Texas. With his brother Willard and Dow Chemical Company executive A.P. Beutel, Dow chose a site west of Freeport that was formerly the site of the Abner Jackson Plantation. Dow designed the town, which they named Lake Jackson, to hold 5,000 people. The residential layout was notable for its lack of straight streets; Dow felt that winding roads would provide “something of a surprise around each turn.” The streets were given whimsical names, including the intersecting “This Way” and “That Way” as well as “Circle Way,” “Winding Way,” and “Any Way." Dow also provided the six designs used to build different models of houses within the newly created town. The first residents moved in at the end of 1943. [Wikipedia]

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