OPEN HOUSE

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 10:  BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Open House, 1919 – 1980s


TAGS: Open House, Mary Rockwell Hook, women architects, fire, furniture designers


View of south flank of Open House showing balcony and two levels, including sleeping porch at top. hook_album_2blk__044.jpg

View of south flank of Open House showing balcony and two levels, including sleeping porch at top. hook_album_2blk__044.jpg

Open House was just that, always open to visitors, and full of air and light. Constructed by Mary Rockwell Hook, the principal architect for the School, the house was built in the summer of 1919 to serve as her personal residence while she was at Pine Mountain. For most of her life, she came to the School for at least some weeks in summer. Often she had grandchildren in tow, or friends or relatives who joined her.

When she died, the house and the land became the property of Pine Mountain Settlement School. The building burned in the 1980s as a result of an unattended fire in the exterior fireplace.

The house was of frame construction with a siding of slab lumber, generally lumber rejected at the mills, as it contained “imperfections” such as bark and knot-holes. The plan was a two-story structure with a large living room and fireplace elevated for cooking, a small kitchen area and a lower sleeping porch in the back of the home. The upper level contained a large sleeping porch that had open windows on three sides that looked out into the dense forest that surrounded the building. It was a cool and hospitable home in summer but was not suitable for winter living as it had no source of heat other than the interior fireplace on the lower level.

At the rear south side of the home, there was another fireplace that was an outdoor cooking area that adjoined a terrace. From this area, there was a short path to Laurel House that allowed for easy access to meals at the central dining area of the campus if needed.

Rustic, spacious, tranquil, and spartan in furniture and decoration, the house blended well with the environment. Often there were lovely blue Mexican glass pieces set about that held summer flowers or fall leaves. Many of the furniture pieces were of Mary Rockwell Hook’s design. She and her sister were avid furniture designers and the pieces reflected some of their earlier work.

The home was featured in an article by Mary Alice L’Heureux, “Well Connected” in the May 2006 issue of Urban Planning & Architecture, volume 8, pages 78-83. This illustrated article included extensive information on Mary Rockwell Hook, particularly her work at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

OPEN HOUSE: The “Scrap House”

Mary Rockwell Hook writing to Glyn Morris in 1932 describes her Open House:

Dec. 27, [1932]
Dear Mr. Morris,

I was quite delighted with the appreciation of Open House shown by the writer of the article you sent me.

If you ever see him again, I wish you would tell him that I know he is a poet [?].

The House always seems to me a place of enchantment,  I love every bit of it.

The man who built if for me called it the “Scrap House” because I used the ends of the logs left over for Big Log and the slabs were used to burn to run the sawmill [boiler].  We cut the rafters and studs and Uncle William stood over us to be sure we skinned them.The site was covered with blackberry bushes as tall as the rocks and I cut them out myself.  Every bush fought for its life by attacking me in some vulnerable spot. ….

[To see the whole letter go to CORRESPONDENCE 1932. [https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=19835#jp-carousel-19845]


SEE ALSO:

MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Biography
GUIDE TO MARY ROCKWELL HOOK CORRESPONDENCE
MARY ROCKWELL HOOK PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM I


OPEN HOUSE: Gallery


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Title

OPEN HOUSE

Alt. Title

Mrs. Mary Rockwell Hook’s House

Identifier

Permalink: https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=6617

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Mary Rockwell Hook

Subject Keyword

Open House ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Mary Rockwell Hook ; houses ; historical architecture ; architects ; fires ; frame buildings ; slab lumber sidings ; fireplaces ; sleeping porches ; terraces ; Laurel House ; furniture ; Mexican glass pieces ; furniture designers ; Mary Alice L’Heureux ; Urban Planning & Architecture ; magazine articles ; rustic designs ; footbridge ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Subject LCSH

Open House — 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.

Date digital

2014-02-05

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; JPG images ;

Format

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

Source

Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant) ; Series 09: Personnel – Mary Rockwell Hook ; 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

1919 – 1980s

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Rights

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.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers about Open House ; clippings, photographs, books about Open House ;

Acquisition

Constructed 1919

Citation

Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-02-05 hw ; 2014-05-20 aae ;

Bibliography

Sources

L’Heureux, Mary Alice. “Well Connected.” Urban Planning & Architecture. 8 (May 2006): 78-83. Print. This illustrated article includes extensive information on Mary Rockwell Hook, particularly her work at Pine Mountain Settlement School, KY.

Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. PMSS Archives, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.

See Mary Rockwell Hook bibliography. Internet resource.

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