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Robert Mills

architect , engineer

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...)

  • United States Department of the Treasury

    (The Department of the Treasury is an executive department...)

  • 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.