My husband fell in love with Tonawanda at first sight and we bought it in 1996. We loved its cozy, comfortable, spacious feel with its warm overtones and were intrigued by its history.
Through the years we have tried to respect the original design, intent, and integrity of the structure.
We hope you will enjoy staying in this architectural gem as much as we have.
Richard Doherty purchased this cottage in 1996
Tonawanda was designed and built by Florence Ely Hunn. Known locally as Dannie Hunn, she was born in 1887 and died at 98 in 1984.
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.
'The structure is interesting because it merges a rather traditional Arts and Crafts cottage with a historic English Tudor style, but with a modernist use of glazed bricks, oversized divided-light iron casement windows, and an open plan interior.It has been described by its present owner as having a rather monastic feel. Today it remains a seasonal structure because the owner does not want to disturb the original scheme.
'...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.'
It's an incredible place to relax and enjoy the views, and it's just minutes to downtown Saugatuck shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. Every day tension just melts away when you are staying at 'Tonawanda.'