Figure 1. George Veronda, site plan for the Roger Brown New Buffalo, MI property. Figure 2. George Veronda, site plan for the Roger Brown New Buffalo, MI property. Figure 3. View from the River Figure 4. George Veronda River Pavilion from the East with Roger’s dog Babe on the deck. Photo: Bill Hedrich, c. 1980 Figure 5. Overview, Studio and Guest house on left, River Pavilion on right. Photo: Bill Hedrich, c. 1980 Figure 6. River Pavilion nestled in wildflower planting. Photo: Bill Hedrich, c. 1980 Figure 7. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House, 1951, Plano, IL. Photo: Jim Zanzi Figure 8. River Pavilion in landscape, 2010 Figure 9. Dining room c. 1980, with Roger Brown painting Gorgeous Gorge (1973). Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 10. Living Room c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 11. Living Room c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 12. Living room from the north, c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 13. Dining room c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 14. Deck c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 15. Deck c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 16. Studio at night. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 17. Bedroom c. 1980. Photo: Bill Hedrich Figure 18. Living Room, contemporary view.  Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 19. Living room with Roger Brown’s Twin Towers (1974), contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 20. Living Room, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 21. Fireplace and central wall, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 22. Dining Room, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 23. Entry hall, contemporary view. Photo: Lisa Stone Figure 24. Dining room, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 25. View to kitchen, contemporary view. Photo: Lisa Stone Figure 26. Elvis arrangement in kitchen, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 27. Kitchen, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 28. Kitchen table with “Roger Brown chairs” designed by George Veronda. Contemporary view, photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 29. Kitchen wall, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 30. Kitchen wall, contemporary view. Photo: Nicholas Lowe Figure 31. Bedroom, contemporary view. Photo: Lisa Stone Figure 32. Artwork over the bed, contemporary view Figure 33. Bedroom, contemporary view Figure 34. Guest house bedroom Figure 35. Roger Brown's Galvanized Temple (1985) with reproduction Greco-Roman portrait busts, in the dune. Photo: Roger Brown, c.1986 Figure 36. Roger Brown’s Galvanized Temple (1985) with reproduction Greco-Roman portrait busts, in the dune. Photo: Roger Brown, c.1986 Figure 37.  Ramsey’s Sheet Metal shop, La Porte, IN., where Brown’s Galvanized Temple was fabricated, in an edition of 6 Figure 38. Concrete flower baskets and tin finials in the garden. Photo: Roger Brown, c.1986 Figure 39. Uncle Sam mailbox by Joe the Welder. Photo: Roger Brown, c.1986 Figure 40. Sheet metal cross, purchased in Wisconsin, atop a dune which Brown planted with pillar roses. Photo: Roger Brown, date unknown. Figure 41. Sheet metal finials in the garden. Photo: Roger Brown, date unknown Figure 42. Sheet metal architectural element. Photo: Roger Brown, date unknown Figure 43. Saguaro by “Joe the Welder” with rose shrubs. Photo: Roger Brown, date unknown Figure 44. Concrete obelisk. Photo: Roger Brown, date unknown Figure 45. Obelisk and rose cages. Photo: Roger Brown, c. 1986 Figure 46. Ernest “Popeye” Reed Sculpture Figure 47. Roger Brown, sketch for My House in the Dunes from Brown’s 1982 sketchbook, RBSC Archive Figure 48. Roger Brown, My House in the Dunes, 1982, oil on canvas, 72 in. x 48 in. SAIC Roger Brown Estate Figure 49. Student Ben Roberts’ drawing of the Cross garden Figure 50. Student Ben Roberts’ drawing of the Temple garden Figure 51. Student Ben Roberts’ drawing of the Joe-the-Welder Saguaro cactus Figure 52. Student Ben Roberts’ drawing of the Obelisk garden Figure 53. Site plan showing landscape features in 1985, during Roger Brown’s time there Figure 54. Site plan showing landscape features in 1995, when SAIC received the property Figure 55. Site plan showing existing conditions in the landscape in 2007, as recorded by the class Figure 56. Site plan showing desired outcome of the preservation Figure 57. Roger and George with their dog Babe, canoeing on the Galien River, New Buffalo, MI.

In 1977 Roger Brown purchased property in New Buffalo, MI, a beach community 85 miles east of Chicago. He commissioned his partner, George Veronda, to design a home and studio retreat. Completed in 1979, the Veronda Pavilion (figs. 1–8), a residence, and the Roger Brown Studio and Guest House, are steel and glass modernist structures tucked into a secluded dunes landscape between the Galien River and the beachfront road. Clearly an homage to Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House (Plano, IL, 1950), the buildings are exquisite studies of geometric forms in the natural landscape.

Please note: The New Buffalo property is operated, year round, as a residency retreat for SAIC faculty and staff and is not open to the public.

The River Pavilion and Guest House contain furnishings designed by Veronda, and an outstanding art collection assembled by Brown, including works by contemporary artists, tribal sculpture and textiles, works by folk and self-taught artists, and iconic examples of Brown's own work. The site is an integrated environment of art, architecture, and landscape architecture representing the collaborative visions of Brown and Veronda. Brown embraced the considerable transition from an 1880s storefront building, to the airy ambience of Modernism, with ease. The light-filled interiors provided a tabula rasa for the display of objects, and an ideal setting for Brown's bold and imposing Twin Towers sculpture. Installed in the living room, the arrangement creates an eloquent complimentary moment between Brown's and Veronda's architectural sensibilities (figs. 9–34). 

As in Chicago, his Michigan home and studio functioned as an artistically stimulating environment, while confronting Brown with a new and important element: the continually changing backdrop of nature. He began experimenting with landscape design, first surrounding the buildings with a swath of native grasses and flowers, and later planting several hundred rose shrubs. He installed sculptures as focal points in landscape vistas (figs. 35–46).

Brown's partner George Veronda died tragically in 1984. Brown continued to spend much time at the New Buffalo retreat (figs. 47, 48), until 1995, when he gave the home, studio, and art collection in New Buffalo to SAIC––his first major gift to the School. His intention was to provide an artists' retreat for SAIC faculty and staff, to facilitate the creation, study, and appreciation of art. With this facility the School offers artists from the SAIC community an ideal counterpart to the stimulation of Chicago's urban environment, at a secluded Lake Michigan retreat.

In 2007 the Historic Landscape Studio class, offered through SAIC's Historic Preservation graduate program and taught by Carol Yetken, undertook a project to research the landscape history of New Buffalo property and create a preservation plan. The class conducted intensive research into all archival documentation, conducted extensive fieldwork, and created a comprehensive preservation plan, with site plan drawings of the historical landscape, the existing conditions, and preservation recommendations. The preservation plan has guided work on the landscape annually since 2007, and the site (fig. 49) is gradually flourishing, reflecting Roger and George's original intentions.