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Although initial soil tests had revealed compacted gravel beneath the marshy surface, it was discovered once construction was underway that beneath a thin layer of gravel there was unstable mud. Discouraged, the college feared this would be the end of the project. Charles Godfrey ingeniously fashioned a pile driver which was operated by a pulley connected to the college tractor. Students and faculty cut 130 trees. and the trunks were driven into the marsh and buried in concrete to form a foundation. This was the first of three "Herculean" tasks the college faced in the initial stages of building.

  Photos courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers.

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.