Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)

West Wind, 1941 – present


West Wind. Under construction, 1941. Architect: Mary Rockwell Hook.

West Wind was constructed late in the building plan of the boarding school according to plans drawn up by the School’s architect Mary Rockwell Hook.

Conceived several years in advance of its construction date, the building was expected to reduce the load on dormitory space at the School and to include additional facilities, such as a laundry and kitchen, to serve the occupants of the building on site. The added facilities were also planned to ease pressure on the central laundry and kitchen at Laurel House.

Construction began in 1941 on the same site as Pole House, which was removed due to its deteriorated condition and limited usefulness as a rustic guest house. The new building was completed and dedicated in June 1942. At its completion the building and its equipment were valued at $31,763.00, making it one of the most expensive buildings on the School grounds.

In its original configuration, It was a three story frame building with a flat roof. The ground floor was of stone and the upper two stories were framed wood construction. Typical of the time, the coal room and the furnace rooms were concrete vaults to accommodate the coal furnace. Just a few short years after construction, the roof of the building proved to be unsatisfactory and, like that of Draper Industrial Building, it was removed and a gabled roof was installed on the building. Other upgrades were added when the building was converted into a hospital and named the Creech Memorial Hospital, after the boarding school closed in 1949.

The interior of the building is comprised of twenty-two rooms that were designed to accommodate twenty-six students and four workers. One single room is described in the original plan as designed to accommodate ten guests. A large living room on the second story has built in benches and a fireplace. The 1941 description noted that there were “adequate bathrooms” and “laundries” and a kitchen. It is also described as “well lighted.”


West Wind interior, main living room, second floor, facing west.

Today the building is the central residence for large groups of visitors to campus. It is frequently occupied through the year by school groups brought to campus for extended Environmental Education classes. The west facing façade provides one of the most pleasing long views of the Pine Mountain valley.


In the 1990s remodeling was intended to weatherize the building which receives considerable sun and wind exposure on the west-facing site. New aluminum siding was added, as well as replacement of original windows with thermal-paned storm windows. The energy use of the building was reduced and the building was better prepared to handle large groups during cool weather.


West Wind. Exterior view of southwest end in late Fall, c. 1980s.


West Wind. Exterior view of southwest end in summer with new vinyl siding. c. 1990s.


West Wind. Exterior view of southwest end from road.



West Wind

Alt. Title

Dormitory for Girls ; Creech Memorial Hospital ; Guest House ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Planned by Mary Rockwell Hook, architect

Subject Keyword

West Wind ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; boarding schools ; building plans ; Mary Rockwell Hook ; dormitories ; laundries ; kitchens ; Laurel House ; Pole House ; guest houses ; stone foundations ; framed wood construction ; coal rooms ; furnace rooms ; concrete vaults ; coal furnaces ; Draper industrial Building ; gabled roofs ; hospitals ; Creech Memorial Hospital ; students ; workers ; living rooms ; fireplaces ; bathrooms ; visitors ; school groups ; Environmental Education ; Pine Mountain valley ; Aryshires ; awnings ; remodeling ; weatherizing ; aluminum siding ; storm windows ; energy usage ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Subject LCSH

West Wind — Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Architecture — Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Historic Buildings — Kentucky — Appalachia.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; JPG images ;


Original and copies of images, documents, and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant) ; Kentucky Virtual Library collections <http://www.kyvl.org/> [searchable]
Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives <http://www.berea.edu/library/Special/saarchives.html>
Transylvania College Archives <http://www.transy.edu/libspcoll.html>
Univ. of KY Appalachian Archives <http://libraries.uky.edu/libpage.php?lweb_id=84&llib_id=13>
National Historic Landmarks Database <http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1756&ResourceType=District>

Coverage Temporal

1941 – present

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers about West Wind ; clippings, photographs, books about West Wind ;


Constructed 1941 – 1942


“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-03-16 hw ; 2014-05-21 aae ;



“West Wind.” Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant). Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.