Dow Administration Center

2301 N. Brazosport Boulevard
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    Mod No More

MacKie and Kamrath’s Dow Administration Center of 1957, (later the A.P. Beutel Building) was designed to house 400 Dow Chemical scientists, engineers, and executives and was the signature modern landmark of the area.  Detailed in high Wrightian style by Houston’s foremost organic architectural firm, it was an enormous testament to the optimism of the late 1950s.  The research wing contrasted a series of vertical ribs contrasting with a large entrance bay faced with deep green tiles.  Just so the Wrightian influence could not possibly be overlooked, the green tiles were ornamented by bright red glossy squares in their corners, bringing both a contrasting color and a contrasting plane to the surface.  The entry stair featured a canopy with open eaves and brightly colored squares of stained glass in a nod to both Wright’s and to Alden Dow’s influence.  The office and conference wing emphasized the horizontal in contrast with the insistent verticality of the research wing.  It was dominated by a cantilevered conference room on the second floor overlooking landscaped grounds.  To the disappointment of many in the community, it was demolished in 2017 when Dow Chemical moved to their new headquarters and research center in Lake Jackson.