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

West Wind, 1941 – present


West Wind. Under construction, 1941. Architect: Mary Rockwell Hook. [hook_039_mod.jpg]

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.

On July 2, 1948, H.R.S. Benjamin wrote of the progress on the restructuring of the third story. He  noted

West Wind repairs are going along fine. We have the roof completed, as I stated earlier, we have the siding on and are now beginning the second coat of paint for this building. The closets  are being built in the new rooms today, the wallboard is here to put on soon, all flooring is down, wiring is installed, attic is completed.

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. [P1040420.jpg]

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.

West Wind: GALLERY

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.


The lower floor of West Wind has provided two rooms that store archival materials of enduring value to the institution. The materials in these two rooms have been shifted several times since 2000 and the accumulated piles of financial and administrative office records have been separated from the materials that are more archival in nature and not scheduled for disposition. The archival holdings were given their own location having joined unaccessioned materials gathered from Director’s files and are located in a room on the east side of the basement hallway. These include the records assembled for the 1983 Berea microfilm project as well as files for Directors: Urquarts, Paul Hayes, Burton Rogers, Alvin Boggs, Robin Lambert, and Milly Mahoney. The following is a GALLERY of images that capture the storage space of both collections and include images before clean and after.

Group photographs are of Alpha Sigma Tau volunteers who assisted with the clean-up of the archival space in West Wind in 2014 and 2015.

West Wind: GALLERY



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.