Glenn M. Beach 1916- 1999
Glenn M. Beach (Red), was born in Medina, New York on January 20, 1916. As a youth, Red played around the Erie Barge Canal and swam in abandoned stone quarries in and near Medina. Beach’s artistic and skillful use of stone in his architectural work is traceable to his youthful experiences around the stone quarries.
His father, who became a building contractor, taught Red how to lay stone. He also taught him carpentry and house painting. From a young age, Red worked on his father’s job sites performing a wide range of jobs that constantly increased in difficulty and skills. He graduated high school in 1933 and was one of only eight people from his class to continue onto college. Beach went on to earn a degree in Architecture from Syracuse University in 1940, a five year program at the time.
Right after graduation, he worked as an Architectural Sales Representative for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. His work brought him to Midland, Michigan to work on a project designed by Alden B. Dow. Dow was completing the house addition to his already- completed architectural studio. Beach worked on the project until its completion in 1941. Beach became an admirer of Dow’s work. Beach would later state that some of the purity of lines and use of planes in his own work came from Dow’s influence. He continue to work for Pittsburgh Glass until 1943 when he joined the Navy as an Ensign. By the end of his military service in 1946, he reached the rank of Lieutenant.
After the war, Glenn returned to mid-Michigan to briefly work in the architectural offices of Frantz and Spence in Saginaw, before joining Alden B. Dow, Architect, Mr. Dow’s architectural firm, in Midland. Beach would continue to work for Dow’s firm until he opened his own firm in Saginaw in 1948. Throughout his career, he designed numerous homes, businesses and schools in Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, Frankenmuth and across the state of Michigan. When asked what his favorite project was he stated, “If you put any faith in the credo that the thing that brings the most joy to the most people makes the winner, I’ll have to say the Saginaw Children’s Zoo is it.” Another favorite project was the remodeling of the Bavaria Inn in Frankenmuth in early 1970s’. Mr. Beach also served as president of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He passed away on August 1, 1999.
Robert “Bob” Bell was born in Sterling, Illinois in 1929.
He attended Iowa State University where he completed his architectural degree in 1951. After completing his military service in the US Air Force, he continued his architectural training at Cranbrook Academy of Art, receiving a Master of Architecture degree in 1955.
Bob began his architectural career in the offices of Alden B. Dow in Midland. In 1961, he relocated to Traverse City where he was a founding member of the architectural firm, GBKB Associates.
The Bells purchased a farmhouse on the Old Mission Peninsula with a panoramic view of East grand Traverse Bay. This, accompanied by Bob’s belief that design should fit into its natural surrounding, provided the inspiration and vision for him to conceive and develop The Bluffs on the Peninsula.
Mr. Bell would later practice as an architect in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, then in northern California, before retiring in Arizona.
Charles Blacklock spent his youth in Elberta, Michigan and graduated from Elberta High school as valedictorian of his class in 1941.
Upon graduation, he served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force during W.W. II. After the war, he attended the University of Michigan School of Architecture and graduated in 1958. After graduation he established the Blacklock and Schwartz architecture firm in Midland with Robert Schwartz AIA. In 1970, he joined the Alden B. Dow Associates firm.
Tunice Keith Blair was born in 1924 in Wichita, Kansas. He attended the Kansas State Architecture school in Manhattan, KS, graduating in 1952. He then moved to Rochester, NY for a 2-year apprenticeship where he helped modernize the New York state building codes. Following his time in Rochester, he moved back to Kansas and practiced architecture for a number of years designing numerous office buildings and homes in the Wichita area. He continued his career by joining the US Air Force reserves serving 20 years before retiring to be an architect for the Kansas State Board of Education where he approved plans and renovations across the state. He died in 1993.
Ralph John Boone was born May 2, 1927 in Mitchell, South Dakota. After 32 years working for the Milwaukee Railroad, he attended Mitchell Technical School in the Architectural Drafting and Building Construction program and graduated in May of 1983 at the age of 56. He died March 13, 2014 at the age of 86.
Thomas Eldine Crampton was born in Freeland, Michigan and graduated from Midland High School in 1938. Eldine, as he was commonly called, worked for Alden B. Dow for 40 years, designing many buildings throughout the state.
Alden B. Dow sought to create quality in all that he did. Whether designing a building, talking to a friend or spending time with his family, quality was a constant. “Each idea must be an expression of intimate care, a personal concern that all the details of the ‘Big Idea’ meet a standard of quality.” To obtain quality, he questioned, challenged and tested the world in a positive and constructive manner Honesty, Humility and Enthusiasm. These three factors became the guiding principals in all areas of his life, personal and professional.
The son of Herbert and Grace Dow, he graduated from Midland High School. In 1923, after visiting Japan where he stayed in the Imperial Hotel,he attended the University of Michigan to study engineering in preparation to enter his father’s company, Dow Chemical. But after three years, Dow left to study architecture at Columbia University and graduated in 1931.
Dow married Vada Bennett in 1931. Bennett, a daughter of Earl Bennett (an employee at Dow). After a year and a half of working with the architectural firm of Frantz and Spence in nearby Saginaw MI, Alden and Vada studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Spring Green WI in the summer in 1933. After that, he opened his own design firm in 1934. He received the Diplome de Grand Prix at the 1937 Paris International Exposition for his own home as well as the John Whitman house. Dow was named the architect laureate of Michigan in 1983, shortly before his death.
Alden B. Dow was a man of his time, but created realities in architecture of the future. Innovative building practices merged with new, undefined materials allowing him to explore and create new solutions in architecture. By designing structures that reflected the way we truly live as humans, he created spaces that not only nurture and comfort us, but also awaken our minds and help us to develop our own individual creativity. His is a legacy that challenges us to look, examine and question the world, in the focused pursuit of the quality of life.
Richard Rhodes Drury, of Traverse City, was born Dec. 30, 1923, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Baseball was his favorite game, and he played on summer and high school teams, and went on to pitch for the University of Michigan.
He enlisted in the Navy V-12 program while at the university.
Richard was an architect, and in 1958 helped found the Traverse City firm Strong, Drury and Elkins. Among the many buildings he designed are several churches throughout the state, including St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City. Mr. Drury died on Nov. 2, 2004.
Jack Feagley was born in Phillipsburg New Jersey. He lived most of his childhood in Easton PA. He attended Billard Naval Academy in New London, Connecticut where he was the art editor of the yearbook. He had an appointment to the US Naval Academy but was unable to go because he was colorblind.
He next option was to go into architecture and attended Penn State to pursue that goal. In 1954, he won first place in a competition that was sponsored by Beaux Arts Institute of Design. He competed against 59 other contestants for his design of a newspaper plant.
Upon graduation, Jack went into the service and spent four years in the Washington D.C. in the Corps of Engineers, but also working for an architect to complete his time to take the boards of architecture. In January of 1959, he passed his exam and officially became an registered architect. By getting his registration in Washington D.C., through reciprocity, he could practice in any state in the country.
Coming to Midland in late 1957, he went to work initially for Red Warner, leaving in 1962 to work for Alden Dow for the next 21 years. Mr. Feagley was president of the Saginaw branch of the Michigan AIA for several years.
Joseph C. Goddeyne was born in Bay City, Michigan in 1889. After attending the local schools, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. He established his architect practice in Bay City in 1927.
Two of his buildings of note are the Bay County Building and the Jesse H. and Anna Mulvane Besser House. The Bay County Building, located at 515 Center Avenue, on the corner of Center and Madison avenues, in Bay City, was built from 1931 to 1934 as a county-funded project to relieve local unemployment problems during the Great Depression. It is an 8-story Art Deco building. Goddeyne is credited with the building’s visually arresting exterior facade, unique to Bay City. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Jesse H. and Anna Mulvane Besser House, located at 232 1st Avenue in Alpena, was built from 1938 to 1939 in a very modern style with the most modern and efficient equipment installed for Alpena’s leading industrial pioneers.
Mr. Goddeyne also served in many positions for the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Robert Goodall was born May 22, 1904 in Oak Park, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois, and following graduation became a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's. Mr. Goodall met Alden B. and Vada Dow during their fellowship at Taliesin. He would eventually move to Midland to work for Mr. Dow for 16 years before starting his own architectural firm. He died of a heart attack in 1954.
Jackson Hallett’s 40- year architectural career in the Midland, Michigan community has left a legacy of superior design reflecting not only his artistic passion but his engaging warmth and commitment to building relationships. His creative vision left the “Hallett-style imprint” on the architectural landscape of more than 40 Midland-area homes and community buildings.
Born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1925, Hallett received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1950. The following year, he joined the architectural firm of Alden B. Dow. Then in 1958, Jack formed his own architectural firm, with the philosophy of providing “high quality design consulting through direct and continuing contact between the firm’s principals and our clients.”
He expressed his personal view this way: “I believe that Architecture is the creation of an experience in space. The form and method of this experience are distinctly unique for each project, dependent on the individual’s functional needs, the site, its surroundings and the budget to make it all happen. This experience is, in a word, the ‘architect’s service’. Both the imaginative integration of design and the science of construction achieve it. No matter what the building type or its requirements, an interesting experience must take place. With each project, this is the end to which I strive.”
During his notable career, Hallett served as President of the Saginaw Valley Chapter AIA, President of the Michigan Society of Architects and participated in numerous civic activities. He was honored by Arts Midland in the spring of 2001, for the breadth of his contributing to the Midland personality of “organic” architecture, with a gallery exhibition showcasing his drawings of residences and public buildings.
It is fitting that the community he so loved remembers him not only for his aesthetic accomplishments, but as a man who lived to create lasting structures that have transcended the test of time. He has truly left a creative imprint on generations to come.
Information courtesy of The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio.
Robert "Bob" Hammerschmidt was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Michigan and then served in the Army Corps of Engineers as a Senior Cartographic Draftsman. Bob practice architecture, one of the joys of his life for over 60 years. He worked for Glenn "Red" Beach and Alden B. Dow and Associates. In 1976, he started his own firm and worked through 2012.
Norman Ainsworth Kline was born Friday, Oct. 14, 1927 in Corry, Pa. He attended various rural schools and graduated from Corry Senior High School in 1945. He then entered the U.S. Navy on June 8, 1945, in the V-5 Pilot Training Program. He would serve in the Navy until July of 1946. In 1952, Norm graduated from the University of Detroit, and then worked in the architectural office of Alden B. Dow in Midland for nine years. He moved to Petoskey and then to Traverse City, where he was a founding principal in the architectural firm Graheck, Bell, Kline and Brown (GBKB). He retired in 1993 after 28 years with the firm. In Traverse City, he was a member of the zoning board of appeals and the city planning commission for 12 years, serving as chairman for four years. As a registered architect, Norm served on various state boards including the AIA board in 1961, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in 1982.
Arthur E. Nelson
Arthur Nelson was born in Detroit Michigan in 1923. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950 with a degree in architecture. Nelson started the architectural drafting program at Ferris State College in 1951. He partnered in an architectural firm with David Oeming and Doc Waters in Saginaw starting in 1954. He also worked for Alden B. Dow during the 1960s and 1970s. He rejoined Ferris State in 1983 to teach construction specifications before retiring in 1991.
Suhlo Alexander Nurmi was born January 4, 1907 in Abo, Finland. He and several members of his family immigrated to the US in 1920, settling in Jackson Michigan. After earning his degree at the University of Michigan, he lived most of his life in Flint, and he was on the faculty at Flint Central High School . He died in 1977.
Irving Eugene Palmquist was born in 1911 in Ironwood, Michigan. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architect, University of Michigan in 1936.
He served as President Palmquist & Wright, Architects, Detroit, 1947—1955, as well as,Vice president of Pollman-Palmquist Builders in Detroit from 1946—1955, and Home Planners Inc., a publishing company in Farmington Hills, since 1946. He also worked as an Architect for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1955—1972. With his partner at Home Planners Inc, Richard Pollman, Mr. Palmquist also published many books featuring mid-century modern house plans for the do-it-yourself home-owner.
James K. Robertson was born in 1933 in Midland and graduated from Midland High School in 1951. He attended the University of Michigan School of Design before graduating from Michigan State University. After serving in the U.S. Army, Jim worked at Nehil Lumber as a designer, and then owned and operated James K. Robertson Designer and Midland Blueprint. He also served on the Midland Planning Commission.
Mr. Robertson died in 1985.
Jack Saro was born in 1932 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now called Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Architecture. After serving as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Jack relocated to Midland to work for the architectural firm of Alden B. Dow. He later started his own firm, continuing his love of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural style. Mr. Saro and his wife moved to Colorado in 1986 where he continued to work as an architect and also founded a company, Unishape Design Inc., which designed,patented,and manufactured positioning equipment for persons with physical disabilities.
Carl G. Schulwitz was born in 1904 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He earned his architecture degree from the University of Michigan in 1930. After working for Alden Dow in Midland, he started his own firm in Saginaw and was also the owner of Nurmi Builders. He died suddenly in 1965.
Robert E. Schwartz was born on Oct. 17, 1928 in Midland to Vera and Russell Schwartz. He passed away on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 at his home at the age of 81. Robert was a lifetime resident of Midland, graduating from Midland High School in 1946.
He attended Midland schools and went on to the University of Michigan to study architecture at a time when Buckminster Fuller was also working with students there and experimenting with his geodesic dome concept.
He graduated from University of Michigan, College of Architecture & Design in 1954 and began his practice in Midland, with business Charles B. Blacklock. He apprenticed under the direction of notable architects Bob Goodall from 1952-1954, Buckminster Fuller in 1954 and Glenn Beach 1955-1958. He became a registered architect in 1958. He designed a number of residences including his own residence on West Sugnet road, a dome structure made from spiral generated Styrofoam that has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in 1964, and as a student of Buckminster Fuller, he constructed the hemispherical design for his home. He worked with The Dow Chemical Company who furnished the Styrofoam and the technology to spin the dome.
In addition, he designed a total of fifteen governmental, commercial and religious buildings which include Midland’s United Church of Christ, Community Drug Store, Washington Woods Senior Citizen Housing, and Scientific Anglers/3M Offices and Plant.
Schwartz was involved in several professional and civic activities which included the U of M Presidents Club, Midland City Planning Commission, Riverfront Beautification Committee, Midland City Building Board of Appeals and many more.
Information Courtesy of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio
Richard T. Sizemore received his degree in Architecture and a degree in Architectural Engineering at Kansas State College (now Kansas University) in Manhattan Kansas in 1948. He accepted a job at Dow Corning Corporation in Midland. He was not eligible to receive an architectural registration in Michigan because he had not worked under a registered architect for four years. Instead he passed the civil engineering registration, as his employer was a registered civil engineer. Mr. Sizemore designed several buildings at the Dow Corning Midland Plant and later became project manager for the Dow Corning Headquarters east of Midland, which were designed by the Fletcher Thompson Architectural Engineering Company in Bridgeport Connecticut. He retired from Dow Corning in 1987 after 40 years of service.
Lewis Everett Stevens attended the University of Michigan and received a Taliesin Fellowship to study with Frank Lloyd Wright, where he met Alden and Vada Dow. Stevens and Robert Goodall, who worked at Taliesen, came to Midland in the early 1930s . Lewis Stevens’ identified body of work in Midland consists of two houses. The John and Pat Zimmerman house at 2825 Chippewa Lane was designed in December, 1935 for a Mr. Otis. The original drawings remain with the house. On the authority of Ned Arbury, the house at 1502 Crane Court was also designed by Stevens; City records indicate the house was built in 1935. Both Stevens and Robert Goodall roomed with Ned’s mother, Mrs. A.S. Arbury, on McGregor Street.
Stevens entered the federal service in 1936. While with the Farm Security Administration, he helped plan the Greenbelt Project.
During WWII, Col. Stevens served in Europe and maintained an active role in the Reserves. He graduated from the National War College in 1954, and spent three years at the NATO headquarters in Paris. He also worked for the Federal Housing Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency during his career,
Clark E. Swayze was born on Nov. 22, 1938 in Saginaw, MI. At a young age he moved to Midland, MI where he attended school and graduated from Midland High in 1957. Swayze earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Michigan State University.
Swayze’s career began as a designer for the Dow Chemical Company where he worked as a packaging designer and engineer for several years before moving to Dow Corning as a supervisor of Corporate Design. In April of 1969, architect Alden B. Dow and artist Charles Breed approached Clark with the seed of a plan for an exhibit hall of ideas at the new Midland Center for the Arts.
Seizing the opportunity, Clark formed a partnership with Albert Theriault of Auburn and formed Exhibit Craftsmen. The new firm offered exhibit design and construction service to business and institutional clients providing complete planning, design, production and maintenance for trade show and museum installations. Within a few months, Clark and Al were joined by industrial designer Bruce Riley, who became a principal partner in the firm which eventually became Design Craftsmen, Inc.
Design Craftsmen specialized in the recreation of historical spaces and interactive exhibits. Key examples of his company's work are the Michigan State Historical Museum in Lansing; the Herbert H. Dow Historical Museum in Midland; Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor; the Science and Technology Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; the First Division Cantigny Museum in Wheaton, Ill.; the National Park Service Visitor Centers in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Glacier Bay, Alaska; the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills; the Texas State History Museum; Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fl.; the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City; and many, many more.
From a three-man operation, Design Craftsmen Inc., with Swayze as President and Chief Executive Officer, grew to employ over 100 people in a multi-million dollar company. In 1990, Clark Swayze was named Master Entrepreneur of the Year by the Saginaw Valley Entrepreneurs Club. In his 33 years with Design Craftsmen, Swayze oversaw the design and production of installations throughout the United States and abroad.
C. Harvey Upton was born and raised in Standish, Michigan before moving to Midland where he and his wife Ruth raised their family. Mr. Upton was involved in the development and construction of much of the residential community of Midland and was one of the founding members of the Midland Home Builders Association. He died in Sedona Arizona in 1989.
Francis E. (Red) Warner was born in Big Run, Pennsylvania in 1921. He loved the outdoors. Every chance he got he would be out playing, biking and jumping off the railroad bridges in the Susquehanna river! He attended Penn State where he was active in many clubs and organizations including Lions Paw Honor Society and Concert Choir. During World War ll he worked as a field engineer in the construction of naval shipyards and power houses. He received his architectural degree from Pennsylvania State College in 1951. From 1951 through 1957 he considered himself fortunate to be able to work under the tutelage of Alden B. Dow. He often commented that he couldn’t believe he was being paid to work in such an amazing and creative environment!
In 1957 he started his own architectural firm in Midland the year his second child was born, so you might say he was a risk taker! He continued working in the tradition of Mr. Dow and Frank Lloyd Wright and was known for designing affordable, creative structures. Warner designed over fifty residences in an area extending to Barrington, Illinois. He loved designing churches which included Chapel Lane Presbyterian, Poseyville Methodist, Our Saviour Lutheran in Gladwin, First Missionary in Flint and Saint John Lutheran in Rogers City.
Red was called on to design more than thirty-four commercial buildings that included the original brick-faced Holiday Inn in Midland, Bay City Yacht Club, Gladwin Country Club, Midland Road Commission (now a Northwood northern entrance), and many more commercial and school buildings around the state.
Red was inspired by the natural beauty of nature and to achieve that he used wood extensively. He especially liked the grain and warmth of edge grain fir and Douglas fir beams which he incorporated in his designs. His works were designed for those who appreciated beauty without extravagance. He always felt you didn’t have to have a lot of money to live artistically, all you needed was an appreciation for a home filled by light and views of nature. It was in the small details and practicality of his designs that he excelled. Contractors commented that they could tell it was a Red Warner home the moment they saw the front door. He designed passive solar energy homes when that term was rarely used. The placement and style of each building had to be most carefully considered to achieve that important feature. Many of his homeowners became an extended family because they became so close during the home design process, with Red stopping in every day to oversee the build and to be sure the contractors were measuring up to his exacting standards. His success can be measured by the extent to which his clients became his best friends and admirers.
His works were honored in a gallery exhibition at the Midland Center for the Arts in 2001 along with those of Mr. Dow and Red’s very good friend, Jack Hallett.
During his career, Warner served as Director of the Michigan Society of Architects, and President of the The American Institute of Architects-Saginaw Valley Chapter. He was also an active community leader as a member of the Exchange Club, the Boy Scouts, the school district PTA, and as President of the Tri-City All-Breeds Horse Association.
After a long, active and joyful life of painting watercolors, sailing, fishing, tennis, snow skiing and caring for and feeding his beloved horses, dogs and garden, Red passed away in 2006 and his ashes now repose amongst those of his dear friends on Dahlia Hill.