A lakeside haven for students and guest artists

With the Hildegarde Lewis Dance Building renovation and expansion nearly finished, Interlochen’s attention now turns to a project just yards up the Green Lake shoreline: Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow House. The innovative facility, a convertible residence hall with guest artist suites, is currently underway and is scheduled to open for the fall 2021 semester.

In 1990, architectural firm Sasaki Associates created a campus master plan for Interlochen Center for the Arts. The plan, funded by former trustees Herbert and Barbara Dow, was designed to prepare the institution for its second century as a leader in arts education. In addition to replacing older seasonal buildings with state-of-the-art facilities for each arts discipline, the Sasaki plan called for the construction of an additional residence hall. The opening of Dow House will mark the successful fulfillment of this ambitious master plan.

“This new facility represents a defining moment for Interlochen,” said Trey Devey, president of Interlochen Center for the Arts. “Through the residence hall, we’ll be able to reach our enrollment goals and accommodate more deserving, talented young artists at Interlochen, while achieving a much-needed competitive edge in recruiting outstanding faculty for Camp. Through the adjoining visiting artist suites, we’ll be able to attract world-renowned visiting artists to our campus year-round.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation—for whom the structure will be named—and other gracious donors, Interlochen has already raised over $9.3 million of the Dow House’s $11.2 million investment.

“A generous Interlochen funder, recognizing the dramatic impact of this new building, has offered an exciting challenge grant,” John Bogley, Vice President of Philanthropy, said. “If Interlochen can raise $750,000 by Dec. 31, 2020, the funder will match that amount dollar-for-dollar. Meeting that challenge will keep us on track to conclude our fundraising for this vital new building.”

Successfully matching the challenge grant will put Interlochen in position to fully fund the Dow House project. The project is critical, as it fulfills two of the institution’s most urgent needs: Arts Academy residence halls and guest artist housing.

In surveys and focus groups of Interlochen’s constituents, updated Academy student and Camp faculty housing has been cited consistently as one of the campus’s most pressing needs. The Dow House, meticulously designed with this feedback in mind, is the perfect solution. The 38,000 square-foot structure will feature 36 student rooms, four visiting artist suites, four practice rooms, multiple lounges, and environmentally friendly utilities, including geothermal heating. Located on the shore of Green Lake, Dow House replaces the former recording services studio, which had sat unused for nearly three decades. The design of the building not only reclaims a prime waterfront property, but also connects aesthetically to the expanded Dance Center that sits immediately adjacent.

The Dow House is a significant step towards updating Interlochen’s student housing. “Interlochen parents and alumni speak in glowing terms of our artistic facilities,” noted Bogley. “Dow House will expand and upgrade our residence halls to better reflect the standard of our artistic assets.”

The connected but separate visiting artist wing will provide inspiring vistas and comfortable spaces for artists to unwind after a day of lectures, performances, and master classes. The four modern suites will be a vital tool in recruiting top-name artists and serve as a hub for connecting acclaimed artists across a variety of disciplines.

The structure’s innovative design will also allow it to convert effortlessly into summer faculty residences. Many of the existing Camp faculty units—constructed across the institution’s 90-year history—are rustic. The Dow House will provide modern housing options, enabling Interlochen to attract exceptional Camp faculty and offer them accommodations befitting their qualifications.

Thanks to the support of many generous partners, Interlochen stands on the cusp of achieving a three-decade strategic goal. We invite you to join the final push to bring this vision into reality and set the stage for Interlochen’s second century. If you would like to support the Dow House project, contact the Advancement Office at advancement@interlochen.org or 231.276.7623. You can also make a gift online.

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