When Dow Chemical Company moved in force to Brazoria County in 1940–1941, there was too little housing in Freeport and surrounding communities to absorb the influx of white-collar and blue-collar workers at Dow's magnesium plant. The company addressed this problem in part by commissioning Midland, Michigan, architect Alden B. Dow, whose father, Herbert H. Dow, founded the company and whose brother, Willard H. Dow, was then president and chairman of the board, to produce seventy modern houses for white-collar staff. Alden Dow was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright: the horizontality of the houses, their corner windows, broad overhangs of low-pitched hipped roofs, and careful orientation of screened porches to the prevailing Gulf breeze all underscore this connection. Dow designed eight different plan types for single-family houses plus several one-story apartment complexes; the example at 1416–1430 W. 4th Street is especially notable. They give these blocks, which in the 1940s were devoid of planting, a sense of cohesiveness the rest of Freeport desperately needs.
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Dow Corporate Houses
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