The Gale Cottages, Whitehall, Michigan

S.088 – Thomas H. Gale Cottage, 5318 S. Shore Drive

S.088.1 – Gale rental cottage #1, 5324 S. Shore Drive

S.088.2 – Gale rental cottage #2, 5370 S. Shore Drive

S.088.3 – Gale rental cottage #3, 5380 S. Shore Drive


Wright designed a home for Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Gale (S.016), and was later asked to design cottages for property on White Lake, which flows into Lake Michigan.  The first was built in 1897, the other three in 1909.  All have undergone substantial modifications, leaving little of their original design visible.  Although all four are relatively close to the public roadway, the forest prevents unobstructed views of the details.  5318 & 5324 S. Shore Dr. are adjacent to each other, as are 5370 & 5380.  A few cottages or houses are between these two groupings.  Also on this block are the Gerts cottages (S.077 & S.078).  Mrs. Gale and Mrs. Gerts were sisters.


A small road provides lake access, allowing some photography from the beach.


The four properties can be distinguished by their colors:

S.088 – yellow

S.088.1 – green

S.088.2 – brown

S.088-3 – white


These are within half a mile of the Gerts cottages (S.077 & S.078) – designed by Wright for the Gales’ Oak Park neighbors.


Photographed on March 30, 2016 and April 28, 2016.




Taliesin has no record of the first cottage, so it has no Opus number.  The cottage still shows some of Wright’s classical training, as it has a hip roof instead of the more flat style found in the three cottages that followed.



Side view; the 1897 cottage was originally 9 feet east of here, and was moved in 1966.  The side porch was added at that time,

enlarging a screened porch (original to the design) that had faced the lake.



View from road


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View from beach; the boathouse is not a Wright design (nor is the small garage in the road-view photo above,

access having been provided by steamship from Chicago – not from road access).

The porch in these last two photos reflects the original screened porch in Wright’s design.




Three rental cottages (S.088.1, .2, and .3) were added in 1909.  Taliesin records exist for these units, and they have been assigned Opus numbers of T.0521, T.0522, and T.0523 respectively.  Records name Mrs. Thomas Gale (Laura Gale) as the owner; her husband died a few years before these commissions were completed



View from beach

The room on the right was added later





View from road




The third cottage, now clad in vertical brown siding, does not bear its original skin – Wright having selected horizontal board-and-batting for this project. 



View from beach



View from road



View from beach access road, with S.088.3’s boathouse in foreground





View from beach


The boathouse and the extra wing were added later; the fireplace was also moved to the exterior wall

When originally built, the three added cottages were essentially identical



View from road


New 04/04/2016

Revised 05/07/2016