Historic Tonawanda Cottage
Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River and Saugatuck’s Lake Michigan harbor entrance is an historic cottage named Tonawanda.
Relax on the open deck, bask in the afternoon sun, and enjoy watching boat traffic coming and going up and down the channel from what locals call “The Big Lake” (Lake Michigan) to the quaint little towns of Saugatuck and Douglas.
Built in 1927 by designer and architect Florence ‘Dannie’ Hunn, she fuses a traditional Arts and Crafts cottage with a historic English Tudor style, and elaborated with a modernist use of glazed bricks, oversized iron casement windows, and an open plan interior.
Following is a brief excerpt about her and this house from “A Pier Cove Designer and Architect Re-discovered” by Dr. James Schmeichen, 2010.
"In many of her works, interior and exterior, she made extensive use of various kinds of tiles...her genius with tiles is best seen in her most accomplished design, the Jordan-Porter “Tonawanda” cottage in Saugatuck, in 1927. This is probably the most radically designed cottage of the age in this area. Using dark brown glazed brick as structural blocks, this unusually tall cottage with gigantic windows, is perched high on a bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River and Saugatuck’s Lake Michigan harbor entrance.
"...We may say that Florence Dannie Hunn was truly an extraordinary woman. There is no doubt that she was a remarkable interior designer as well as a very interesting architect in an age when men controlled both professions...she managed to fashion an interesting and productive non-conformist private life for herself...Pier Cove (located a few miles south of Saugatuck) was her sanctuary.