The closest thing in the Saugatuck-Douglas area to a Frank Lloyd Wright home is found at 296 Lakeshore.  This striking home was designed by a student of Wright and further expanded by a local architect and builder who skillfully remained within the Wright design philosophy.  


It took George Schumann a freshman semester in Vincent Scully’s renowned Yale University course in art and architecture to appreciate the Wright designed homes that surrounded him when growing up in Oak Park, Illinois.  George’s spouse, Dawn, yearned during much of her youth to live on Lake Michigan near the Presbyterian Camps and to own a Frank Lloyd Wright home.  Dawn realized both wishes in 1975 when she and her first spouse, Bill Goshorn, bought the Wright-inspired lakeshore home.  After her divorce from Bill, Dawn met George while directing the restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois.  Their mutual appreciation of the Wright architectural philosophy and function has led to continuing development of the property.


The experience in their lakeshore home is that of spiritual restoration in an elegant tree house with magnificent water and garden views.  Fine wood joiner work throughout and the significant accent art pieces work well together to meet the rigorous Wright design intentions. Traffic flows from narrow aisles with short ceilings to emerge in dramatic open spaces with high lighted elevations with, in one case, a dramatic cupola drawing down natural and artificial light.


The house provides porches on two levels overlooking the main Japanese-inspired garden perched above the gentle pathway to the beach.  Water from a Japanese chain downspout from the roof, and from a natural spring bubble and mist in the rock garden.  A significant Cynthia McKean metal sculpt of sea birds rising from the surf accentuates the easy walk to the water’s edge.


George does a fine job of explaining the various elements of his home on the video and slideshow link.  


--John Shack