Black Mountain and Asheville
Blue Ridge Campus
Lake Eden Campus
Guide to the Campuses
Architecture related publications
(23) SCIENCE BUILDING
|Paul Williams, Dan Rice, Stan Vanderbeek
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.