Beloved, Famous Lake House Just Got More Beloved, Famous

Lake Michigan's Douglas House has been named a historic site

By Athena Wisotsky

Beloved, Famous Lake House Just Got More Beloved, Famous
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20 July 2016

A lake house is not merely the sum of its parts, and not all lake houses are created equally.

Built in the 1970s, the Douglas House by Richard Meier, may be the superlative example of both those dicta.

Nestled in the trees along the shore of Lake Michigan, the five-story behemoth's glass and steel facade have aged gracefully over the decades, despite lacking the classic pitched roof of its era (a detail that almost got the project nipped in the bud).

You enter at roof-level — the severe slope of the site requires it — and the house opens beneath you by way of steep staircases. Every angle has a view. The roof deck spans the length of the building, as do most of the windows and a skylight.

This month the architect is honored by the National Park Service, who are adding the Douglas House to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and cultural significance.

This is not the first high-profile recognition of his work however; Richard Meier won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1984. He is also responsible for the Getty Center, one of L.A.’s most gorgeous crown jewels made entirely of milky travertine. A must-see if you are in the city.

But first, Michigan.

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