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Horace McGuire Wood        

Date/place of birth:
2 September 1902
Rochester, New York

Date/place of death:
15 April 1971
Ft. Myers, Florida

Relationship to the college:
Instructor of Contracting and Building Construction
1943 summer
1943-44 (fall)
1944 summer
1944-45 (fall, spring)
1945 summer
1945 fall


Small house designer
Building contractor



Horace McGuire “Mac” Wood was reared in Rochester, New York, and received his B.A. degree in in Art and Aesthetics from Antioch College in 1928. After his graduation until 1939, he was had his own business designing and building small houses in Rochester, New York, and Delray Beach, Florida. He also worked as an accountant, a superintendent of construction, as supervisor of salvage work for Delray Beach, Florida, and doing lofting and pattern layout for Universal Moulding Products Corp. of Bristol, Virginia and East Rocherster, New York.

Recommended by his friend Gorman Mattison, also a former Antioch student, who had been appointed to teach business and advertising in the fall of 1942, Wood visited the college in August 1942, and in September he was appointed Instructor of Contracting and Building Construction at Black Mountain College. For the most part, he remained at the college through December 1945 holding various positions including Instructor of Contracting, Director of the Work Program, Assistant Treasurer, and Maintenance Supervisor. He spent three weeks in the summer of 1943 in Pittsfield, New York doing volunteer war work and small architectural projects for old clients. He returned to the college in the fall but spent the winter and spring quarters, when there was little work for him at the college, in Winter Park, Florida, recovering from illness.

Wood’s presence at Black Mountain was invaluable to the college during the war years when the college was undertaking small construction projects, struggling to maintain existing buildings, and completing various projects begun when it moved to Lake Eden in 1941. He designed the extension to South Lodge and other small projects. He taught classes in contracting and small house design.

In the winter of 1944 Wood wrote to the college that if there was not work for him at the college, he planned to settle in the Black Mountain area. “My first love,” he wrote, “is the design and building of homes and other light construction.” From 1946 through 1964 he designed and built many modest,affordable homes in Black Mountain and North Fork, North Carolina. One house built in the shape of a corn crib.

When they left Black Mountain, Mac and Emily Woods moved to the village of Black Mountain where he was active in the community Chamber of Commerce, Public Library, and Community Center. He was treasurer of the North Carolina State Humane Society.

After suffering a stroke in 1965, he and Emily Wood spent the winters on Sanibel Island, near Ft. Myers, Florida.


This biography was funded by a grant from the Graham Foundation for a study of architecture at Black Mountain College.

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