National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Douglas, James and Jean, House
Reference Number 16000232
State Michigan
County Emmet
Town Friendship Township
Street Address 3490 South Lake Shore Drive
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 5/3/2016
Areas of Significance Architecture
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Built in 1971-73, the Douglas House meets national register criterion Cat the national level of significance as a masterwork of renowned architect Richard Meier and as a widely recognized outstanding example of modem architecture. Richard Meier has achieved global recognition for his modem architectural designs. He has received numerous awards for his more than fifty years of work. Consistently modem and almost always in signature white, Meier's unique geometric designs reflect a: timeless simplicity and beauty that stands out among his peers. The Douglas House not only reflects his hallmark modem style but also contains furnishings created by Meier himself (living room sofa, coffee table and dining room table). Most of Meier's noted works are commercial or public buildings. Very few of his residential works have achieved global recognition. The Douglas House is one of those remarkable residential achievements. The Douglas House is an excellent example of modem architectural design. Its clean geometric fonn, simplicity and all white surfaces clearly reflect the modem style. Its dramatic location, a cliffside perch on the Lake Michigan shoreline, only adds to its dramatic appearance. It reflects the basic premise of the modem architectural movement in that it marries technological advancement with simplicity of design. The modem style of the Douglas House is enhanced by its amazing setting. Meier differentiated the house from its surroundings, yet through his use color and fenestration, he also pulled the outside in. His placement of wood, glass and steel yielded a beautifully modem home that is not at odds with its surroundings. Though not yet fifty years old, the home meets the register's exceptional significance requirement for less than-fifty-year-old properties because of its impact on modem architecture.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria