Mockbee’s Legacy

What will happen to the Rural Studio? That’s the questioned asked in this article from the Christian Science Monitor.

Now that Samuel Mockbee has passed away, there is some concern that his ground-breaking Rural Studio program will begin to fade away. I really don’t think anyone should worry about that. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a weekend in Hale County, Alabama, and I’ve seen first hand the direct impact of the studio on the lives of the people who live there. It is incredible. The Monitor tells the story of a local child who, after moving into a new, much more spacious room, “improved his grades dramatically [with a] a quiet place to study… He got into college, completed a degree, and now wants to be a lawyer.”

This is Mockbee’s Legacy. The lives he changed and the people he helped. Rural Studio is growing every year and will continue to benefit the people of Hale County, and perhaps their ideas and practices will someday spread into new counties and new states.

One of my professors once said that Samuel Mockbee created the first truly original American Architecture. Let us all follow his example. Let us, in his own words, “proceed and be bold.”

2 replies on “Mockbee’s Legacy”

I don’t understand why it’s taken so long for other schools to start to follow this model. I wish we had this while we were at achool.

There are several architecture firms/architects that are have also been credited with “creating a truly original American architecture.” Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright jump to my mind immediately.

There is no doubt that Rural Studio influenced the life of Hale County residents but I would have to say that there are many other architects/architecture/building designers that are affecting change as Mockbee did. FHA had the same mandate and Garrett Eckbo lead the same type of movement in the 1950-1960s.

Just my perspective. . . . . .I would love to see Rural Studios work in person though . . . . .

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