Once Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers recognized the iconic nature of the house they’d bought in 2007, they knew they were no longer simply homeowners.
“Our job, if we chose to take it, was to bring the Douglas House back and preserve it for the world,” Myers says. “We became its stewards, and we wanted to do everything right – and now we want to keep it that way for others to experience.”
With most of the restoration complete, they’re taking steps so that their home, its unique architecture, and its rich history will be enjoyed by the public. Their planning includes establishing a foundation in the future that will take care of the Douglas House in perpetuity, and allow others to benefit from its renowned architecture. “We’ve thought about an endowment for the last couple of years, and now we’re looking at the mechanics of how an operating foundation will work,” McCarthy says.
The couple wants to ensure that the Douglas House is available for study by architects and students worldwide. They’ve purchased an adjoining property with a structure that will provide space for staff and a library.
The couple intends to make certain that the Douglas House – added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 – will be protected by an endowment that will support its charitable mission for years to come. “We’ll establish an advisory board with the expertise to oversee foundation decisions, so that historic architectural standards are followed in maintenance and operation,” McCarthy explains. “The board will employ a curator, and establish effective external communications strategies and tactics.
"We’ll also link our website to key architectural sites like Iconic Houses, and other foundations working with significant midcentury modern homes and buildings,” he says. The actual establishment of an operating foundation will occur at some time in the future, as the couple currently retains the Douglas House as their private residence.
For a home with an up-and-down history since it was built in 1973, the Douglas House is destined now for a solid future – and a dedicated purpose. It deserves no less.