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Paul Williams, Dan Rice, Stan Vanderbeek
fall 1949

In the fall of 1949, Paul Williams, working with students Dan Rice and Stan Vanderbeek, designed a science building to replace the one that burned in September 1948. On November 9, Williams presented the plans to the Board of Fellows. The estimated cost of materials was $3,700, not including student and faculty labor. Stephen Forbes, a former student, offered to pay expenses up to $6,000. Any access funds were to be used for equipment. The Board unanimously approved the plan.

A site on the lower rim of the knoll just south of the Studies Building was selected, and Williams, Rice, and Vanderbeek started construction in December. By August 1950 lights were on in the building. By January 1951, construction was not complete. An engineer was called in to help find the cause of structural problems which were causing the window panes to shatter the lower front frame to separate where the floor overhung the columns. He concluded that the building was structurally sound, and that bending 2 x 4s had caused the problem.

The building was finished in the winter of 1953 not long before the resignation of Natasha Goldowski, science teacher. She refused to use the building, concerned that it would collapse on the hill. When the lower campus was closed, the looms were moved from the art studio in the Studies Building to the science building.

2007: The building is used for housing for camp personnel. It continues to stand and is called Inspiration Point.

Photographs courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Research Project Papers. Photographer: Mary Emma Harris, ca. 1972.



The Black Mountain College Project gratefully acknowledges a grant from the Graham Foundation
for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a study of architecture at Black Mountain College.