What is Discovery Square?
It’s the convergence point of Midland’s best art and architecture, science and nature, knowledge and literature. It’s a place that nurtures our future’s brightest, a place where the doors to limitless possibilities swing wide open. Discovery Square: Something for the explorer in all of us.
The History of Discovery Square
On May 1, 1971, Alden B. Dow spoke at the dedication of the Midland Center for the Arts. He laid the groundwork for a central campus in Midland that would focus on Arts, Science, Nature, and Architecture, when he stated in his speech,
“…Tonight we are celebrating the formal opening of this Center, but in greater perspective, we have taken another step toward the completion of a Creativity Complex (later termed Discovery Square). Within 1,000 feet of where we are gathering are located the Library, the Center for the Arts, and a sophisticated chemical research foundation, all adjoining the Gardens. This creativity complex recognizes the need for the combined effort of Art and Science in order to develop our finest qualities. Through all of this, I see and exciting, creative and beautiful future.”
Simultaneously, in the 1971 dedication catalogue for the Midland Center for the Arts, Discovery Square would be described as the following:
“In keeping with his conviction that science or facts need art or feeling for its most creative development, and that art needs science in the same way, Mr. Dow designed the Center for the Arts as an integral part of a Cultural Square which he describes as a “Discovery Center”. The ‘square’ includes the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, the Macromolecular Research Laboratory for advanced polymer chemistry research, and the Dow Gardens. Mr. Dow contends that some of man’s most fertile ideas have resulted and will flourish from a cross-breading of many different disciplines.”
At the time that this was written, Alden B. Dow still lived and worked in his own home and workplace on Post Street. The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio is open to the public and completes this cultural square he envisioned.