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John and Alice Swainson–George and Caroll Whitehead Vacation House

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1965, Meathe, Kessler and Associates. Pro Club Dr., approximately 4 miles southwest of Manistee. Visible from the water
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This fantastical wood-shingled vacation house was built for the Swainson and Whitehead families in a wood on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan near Manistee. Its unusual amorphic massing with walls that seem to rise to become the shed roof is clad with irregular courses of randomly cut shingles. Entrances and windows, three of which are large pointed openings, their sides splayed outward, are recessed into the body of the house, offering protection. The chimney is fieldstone. Balconies afford access to the outdoors, and a deck surrounds the entire house. Inside, the informal living, dining, and kitchen spaces and four bedrooms all open directly outside. The house illustrates the 1960s concern and appreciation for the natural environment.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "John and Alice Swainson–George and Caroll Whitehead Vacation House", [Manistee, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 394-394.

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