What is a summer house?

On Madeline Island in Lake Superior it could be a century-old frame cottage or an architect-designed glass pavilion; a hand-built log cabin or a Gatsby-era mansion; a timber barn moved from Vermont; or a waterside beach house.

Join architecture writer Linda Mack and her photographer daughter Kendra Mack as they visit twenty-seven summer places designed for an almost-lost way of life where neighbors drop by, and the sun, stars and moonrise are celebrated.

“On Madeline, we’re in sync with nature,” Mack wrote in describing the joys of her own family’s beach house.

Summer people have been coming to Madeline, the largest of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands, since the 1890s, and many original cottages and cabins still serve as family gathering points. More recently, some of the Midwest’s most celebrated architects—David Salmela, Dale Mulfinger and Michaela Mahady—have designed retreats that redefine the idea of a summer house.

Reading Madeline Island Summer Houses: An Intimate Journey is like dropping in on friends: over tea and cookies, islanders share the stories of how they came to Madeline and shaped the places they love.

Come along on the journey!


Linda Mack writes about architecture, historic preservation and urban design. As architecture critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, she traced the arc of Twin Cities development and design for more than twenty years. She and her husband, Warren, live in Minneapolis but spend as much time as possible at their beach cottage on Madeline Island.

Kendra Mack is a photographer, book designer, and weaver. She received her MFA in photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
The Bookcase in Wayzata
824 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 55391

Thursday, Dec. 5 at noon
Downtown Barnes and Noble,
801 Nicollet Mall, Mpls

Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.
Galleria Barnes and Noble,
3225 W. 69th St., Edina,


Contact us at info@madelineislandsummerhouses.com


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