Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 10: Built Environment
MARY ROCKWELL HOOK This and That (Autobiography)
Mary Rockwell Hook (1877 – 1978)
School Architect and Consultant 1913 through – c. 1968
Member, PMSS Board of Trustees
TAGS: Mary Rockwell Hook ; Wellesley College ; women architects ; Katherine Pettit ; Ethel de Long Zande; Marguerite Butler Bidstrup; Angela Melville; Luigi Zande; Art Institute of Chicago ; Ecole des Beaux-Arts ; Jean-Marcel Arbutin ; gender bias ; American Institute of Architects ; Kansas City, MO ; Howe, Holt, and Cutler ; Old Log ; Big Log ; Laurel House ; PMSS Board of Trustees ; Inghram D. Hook ; National Register of Historic Places ; Kansas City Landmarks Commission ; Leon Deschamps; Hook and Remington ; Eric Douglas MacWilliam Remington ; ‘Mac’ Remington; International Archive of Women in Architecture ; Susan Huntington; Ann Huntington; Burton Roger ; Glyn Morris; Gladys Morris;
Mary Rockwell Hook wrote her autobiography, “This and That” in 1970 in the tenth decade of her life. Born September 8, 1877, she died on her birthday September 8, 1977. Mary Rockwell Hook rarely did anything without planning, but how remarkable even her death seemed fit into some larger cosmic plan. Planning was built into her psyche., if not into her destiny. Even at the age of 101 and quite blind, she was still planning and building in her very imaginative brain.
In the final pages of her autobiography, Mary Rockwell Hook describes conjured up imaginative designs. In her mind’s eye she designed a new capital for France and redesigned the Washington White House, adding a new two-story wing that surrounded an Italian garden where the President could entertain. Attached to this she envisioned a future construction, a “whole new White House done in white marble and glass” and the old White House retired for the people as a “historic “National Treasure.” Basically, she turned the White House inside out, placing the emphasis on the view in as well as the view out — where governed and the government would mingle on a human scale.
In many ways, these imaginative designs were Mary’s “shining city on the hill” where nurture and nature could come together. She always imagined her houses with gardens and places where the dweller could live a life in harmony with the natural outside world. One of her last visions was a new contemporary town in western Kansas, where she was born. She imagined that it would share “a park complete with prairie dogs and tumbleweed. In the town of her birth, Junction City, Kansas, she “designed” another park which she imagined to be filled “with sunflowers and various wildflowers.”
It is little wonder that Mary Rockwell Hook continued to come to Pine Mountain as long as her frail body could manage it. There, in the deep mountains of Kentucky, her Open House was surrounded by the most natural of gardens. The mossy slopes, and boulders topped with trillium, and ferns, rhododendron, and laurel mixed with azaleas tumbling in lush bouquets outside her doors, — enough to satisfy even the most persnickety gardener. Her architectural vision was consistently a house that was inside out, where she could look out on the forest or garden or ocean. At Pine Mountain, her vision was, without a doubt, the most harmonious for not only did her view include her forest garden, but also a view of the School that she had designed and placed in the middle of Eden … well at least, Paradise..
MARY ROCKWELL HOOK (Bigraphy)
MARY ROCKWELL HOOK “This and That” (Autobiography)