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Robert Mills

Robert Mills was one of the first native-born American architects, designer of many distinguished buildings during the period of the Greek Revival, known for designing the Washington Monument.

Background

  • Mills, Robert was born on August 12, 1781 in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Son of William and Anne (Taylor) Mills.

  • Education

    • Attended College of Charleston.

    Career

    • Studied under Thomas Jefferson. Designed Congregational Church (the “circular church”), 1804. Supervised erection Bank of Philadelphia.

      Adopted for 1st time in American the auditorium type of plan suited for preaching a service. Designed Washington Hall, 1809. Rebuilt for municipal offices some wings of Old State House (Independence Hall, Philadelphia), 1812.

      Designed Brockenbrough house in Richmond, Virginia which became “White House of Confederacy”. Designed important public monument to Washington in Baltimore, 1814. Made president, chief engineer Baltimore Waterworks Company.

      Returned to Charleston, 1820, became member Board Public Works. Public buildings erected by him (on plans either made or revised by him) in Charleston include: fire-proof record building, begun 1822, Eastern State Hospital for Insane at Columbia, South Carolina. Designed Potomac Bridge, circa 1830.

      Appointed by Federal government as “architect of public buildings,” 1836-1851, designed Treasury, Patent Office, Post Office, Washington, District of Columbia. Main architectural achievement was victory in competition for design of Washington Monument, at capital, completed in 1884. Member Society of Artists organized in Philadelphia, 1810, 1st secretary Author: Treatise on Inland Navigation, 1820.

      Guide to the Capitol of the United States, 1832 (appeared 1834).

    Works

    • Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
    • built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first American president.
    • United States Department of the Treasury
    • The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government.
    • Author: Treatise on Inland Navigation, 1820. Guide to the Capitol of the United States, 1832 (appeared 1834).

    Membership

    Member Society of Artists organized in Philadelphia, 1810, 1st secretary.

    Connections

    • Married Eliza Smith, 1808, 4 children including Sarah, Mary.
    • father: William Mills
      came from Scotland to America in 1770 and married Anne Taylor "a lady of ancient and honorable Carolina heritage.”
    • mother: Anne (Taylor) Mills
    • spouse: Eliza Smith
    • teacher: James Hoban
      At the age of nineteen Mr. Mills went to James Hoban in Washington, famous as the designer of "The President's House,” for his initiation in Architecture.
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    Died March 3, 1855
    (aged 73)
    Nationality
    • 1800 - 1808
      worked independently
    • 1820
      commissioner of the Board of Public Works
      South Carolina, United States