Check out this very cool architect-designed house in my neighborhood, built in 1953 and now offered for sale. If I didn’t already have a house, I’d be buying it before letting anyone else know about it.
I should mention that if you are addicted to, say, porticoes and classical details, you shouldn’t buy this house. I’ve seen too many very nice Modern buildings whose simple geometry and casual spaces are destroyed when new owners tack on all sorts of junk moldings from Home Depot and put on tall hipped roofs in the French Chateau style. Nothing against classical details, but they have a place, and this house isn’t that place.
The house was designed by its original owner, architect William Gill (1912-1982). I don’t know much about Gill’s other designs, probably because he spent the first part of his career in New Orleans and the later part in the offices of R.W. Naef, who of course we all know and love. Naef’s office designed the oldest shopping center in the state, now called the Woodland Hills Shopping Center, in 1946, and he also is responsible for many of the buildings at Ole Miss from the 1930s through the 1950s. Other Jackson buildings of the Naef office during Gill’s tenure are Chastain Middle School, the Board of Health Building, and the original University Hospital (along with N.W. Overstreet and E.L. Malvaney).
Here’s what I’ve managed to pull together about William Gill’s bio from various sources:
Born in Magnolia, MS, he attended Delgado Central Trades School in New Orleans at night for two years, and another two years of night school at Tulane University. He moved to New York City and attended the Brooklyn Division of C.C.N.Y (?) from 1930-1931. His whereabouts during the Depression are currently unknown, but he worked for the Corps of Engineers as an engineer’s aide on airport construction from 1940-1942 before entering the U.S. Coast Guard. He served in the Coast Guard as a draftsman in the 6th Naval District from 1942-1945. Released from military service, he returned to architectural work in the office of Favrot & Reed in New Orleans, before moving to Jackson, MS, in 1947 to become a draftsman and designer for R.W. Naef and continued in that capacity until at least 1960. He joined AIA in 1960. Office listed in 1962 at 731 Gardner Street, Jackson.
Was that too much information? I can’t tell if anyone else is interested in Mississippi architects. Oh well, I am and I’m the blogger.