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Mark Mills in Black Mountain, NC
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Mark Mills in Black Mountain, NC Reply with quote

Unbelievable. A friend celebrated her 50th last night and rented the "Black Mountain Sanctuary" for her party. The total complex may be around 7,000 sq feet. But the original structure around which the entire complex is built is an 800 sqft A-Frame Cabin. The owner (John Marcum) claims the architect of this cabin was " one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best known apprentices, Mark Mills." He has no original drawings and said that Mark died soon after he closed on the property. Marcum said the cabin was in dire condition and he restored it with a crew of "redneck ninja carpenters" from the county.

The photographs on the website do not show some important details, like the main fireplace, that lead me to believe attributing the original cabin to Mills has real plausibility. I can describe those if anyone is interested. Marcum was a little difficult to talk with, but he was very busy at the time. He was not familiar with any work of Mills and did not know that he had also built an A-Frame on the coast of Big Sur. Which makes the restoration work all the more remarkable in my judgement.

Anyway, here is the link. Scroll down:
http://web.me.com/johnmarcum/Black_Mountain_Sanctuary/Tour/Pages/Sanctuary_Tour.html
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1015
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Building department records, if they go back far enough, should have information on this. Does Mills have an archive somewhere? Has anyone published a list of his buildings, as Storrer has done for Wright and Gebhard and Winter for Schindler?

It's a handsome house in any case.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I know some people in the building and planning department of the county. I'll check it out.
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CEP



Joined: 01 Jul 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Mark Mills Reply with quote

to Reidy's question about Mills archive - Mark Mills Collection, Special Collections, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. http://lib.calpoly.edu/about/news/10_1118_mills.html
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I've sent Catherine an email at the archives regarding this. Much appreciated.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 4373

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Gathering Room" is very reminiscent of the A-frame Mills designed in Carmel.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RG: Do you have any links to shots of that?
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1015
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We once had a thread on it here: http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=4045&sid=146644702477a53cda3bed17ae949fa6.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I reviewed the thread and it looks like the only pictures of the Carmel A-Frame would be NorCalModern. I'll check it out.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 4373

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link Reidy supplied appears to show only Wild Bird. There is a book with the Carmel A-frame in it, and I have it somewhere. It was also featured in HB in the 50s and 60s, where a number of Mills's houses were published, like his own house in HB June 1964, 97-102. Unfortunately, it has been greatly enlarged and 'citified.' It was originally a tiny 'bachelor pad' set in a semi-rural area, surrounded by redwoods, an MG/TD parked in the carport.
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Education Professor



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Posts: 571

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mills A-Frame in Carmel is featured in the book Coastal Cottages by Linda Leigh Paul I believe.

Tom, the kitchen/living room of the Black Mountain retreat certainly looks similar in some respects to the Carmel A-Frame. The home also looks like it has had some "non-Millsian" additions. It will be interesting to learn from the Archives if Mills actually designed the retreat.

EP
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the Mills archive curators' response to my email, she is Catherine Trujillo:
Hello Tom,
Thank you so much for your interest in the Mark Mills collection. One of Mills' hallmarks is his A Frame house design. The architectural drawings in the collection represent California, Wyoming, and Arizona. Nothing in North Carolina. We do have an A Frame project in Carmel California. This portion of the collection is not digitized, but is accessible on site if you are ever in California.

Mills worked with Wright on many projects. Those collaborative drawings most likely reside with the private archive at Taliesin West, Arizona: http://www.franklloydwright.org/fllwf_web_091104/Archives.html

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Best wishes,
Catherine
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody know if Mills ever used the following detail anywhere else:
It's a bookshelf about 12' long suspended from two custom welded steel brackets. The top of the brackets are anchored to a lumber sill plate that sits on top of the rubble masonry wall about 36" above the floor plane. The steel brackets are bars about 2" wide x 1/4" (maybe 1-1/2" x 1/8") and extend from the sill plated down the masonry wall stopping at the level of the lowest shelf. There are only two levels of shelves. From memory each level of shelf consists of two 4x6's wood pieces stained deep brown and each 12' long. They lay adjacent to each other broadside down to form the shelf. The shelves are supported from the steel brackets by arms of the same dimension welded perpendicular to the vertical piece of steel extending down from the sill plate. So in rough terms the brackets as described so far resemble an upside down 'F'. At the tips of the arms of the 'F' a small additional piece of steel is welded perpendicular to the arms and so pointing up to the ceiling. The wood 4X6 shelves are sawn out at the bottom at this point where they make contact with the brackets and slip over these final welded pieces to conceal the connection.
That kind of feels to me like something Mills might do.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 4373

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally found the book with the Carmel house. It's a 1956 Sunset Book, "New Homes For Western Living," with the Gordon Drake Malibu house on the cover. The house was originally 851 sf. With the additions to the original structure plus new separate units, I believe it has turned into a sprawling mess of a place, worth more for its land than for the house.
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mdgraham



Joined: 05 Aug 2010
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Mark Mills projects Reply with quote

I read that Mark Mills designed less than 40 projects. Is the only way to get a list of those projects from the Curator at the California University that now has his drawings?
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