Inside Iconic Houses - Live Online Tour of the Isokon Building and Penthouse!
Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House
Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione
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Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina
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Women’s Worlds - Interview with Natalie Dubois
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Save Maison Zilveli - Sign the Petition!
How a Building Tells a Story - Recorded Event
Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House
13 Aalto Sites Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage
Villa Beer At Risk - Sign the Petition!
Business Cards of Stone, Timber and Concrete in the Brussels Region 1830-1970
Exhibiting & Visiting Modernist Monuments
Fostering Well-Researched Responsible Design
ICONS AT RISK
Enjoy a virtual visit to the California House and a Q&A with architect Peter Gluck
Exhibition 'Modernism and Refuge'
A Hidden Gem of Postmodernism
New Centre for Historic Houses of India
An Online Chronicle of the Douglas House
SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!
SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!
SPECIAL - Vacances en France!
SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!
SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!
SPECIAL – German Greats!
Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands
A Mendini temple in Amsterdam
IH-lectures USA & Canada Feb 2020 on Melnikov House
An Afternoon with the Glucks
Danish Moderns – Looking Back at Our Mini-Seminar
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Lecture report: Remembering Richard Neutra
Hôtel Mezzara and the Guimard Museum project
We welcome 13 new members!
BREAKING NEWS: 8 Wright Sites Inscribed on Unesco World Heritage List!
LECTURE 29 August - Raymond Neutra: My Father and Frank Lloyd Wright
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Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D
Getty Grant for Villa E-1027
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Corbu’s Cabanon: Reconstruction and Lecture
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An Online Chronicle of the Douglas House
Now that owners Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers have meticulously restored their Douglas House on Lake Michigan, they’re seeking to preserve it for posterity.
The home is considered a masterpiece of late-20th-century architecture. During the summer of 1972, with project architect Tod Williams on site and Richard Meier in his New York studio, the pair traded initial sketches back and forth.
Later, Williams would send drawings to the studio, where Meier, Sherman Kung and John Colamarino would work on the home’s further evolution. The four architects would create a residence that some call Meier’s best.
“It was the beginning of postmodernism, but with an emphasis on the ‘modern,’” says Williams.
The home has had its ups and downs since Jim and Jean Douglas commissioned it, then sold it in 1981. Its second owner carpeted and wallpapered the stairway, painted a bath red, green and blue and added Early American furniture.
Closed up during the winters, the home deteriorated swiftly. In 1985, it was sold to Paul Beitler, a Chicago real estate developer, whose reaction to the alterations was succinct: “This guy had no clue what this house was all about.”
By 2007, it had fallen into disrepair again, when McCarthy and Myers bought it and began a heroic, painstaking renovation. This writer covered their efforts in a cover story for Dwell magazine in October, 2011.
McCarthy and Myers now intend to establish a foundation that will take care of the house in perpetuity, and allow others to benefit from its pristine architecture. “We’ve thought about an endowment for the last couple of years, and now we’re looking at the mechanics of how an operating foundation will work,” McCarthy says.
The couple wants to ensure that the Douglas House is available for study by architects and students worldwide. They’ve purchased an adjoining property with a structure that will provide space for staff and a library.
Their first step, however, has been to create a website dedicated to the design, history and restoration of the house – with images and art direction by Detroit-based photographer James Haefner, editorial consulting from ArchNewsNow editor Kristen Richards, website development by Kevin Atiyeh and words by the editor of Architects + Artisans.
This article by Mike Welton was previously published September 14, 2020 on Architects + Artisans. We thank Mike and photographer James Haefner for allowing us to publish it here again.
Posted 16 September 2020