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A Monumental Architect

By Linda Tancs

Robert Mills is one of the earliest architects born and trained in the United States.  One of his most prominent designs is the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  Adhering to classical design, he focused mostly on public buildings like monuments, prisons, colleges and hospitals.  A notable exception is the Classical Revival residence for merchant Ainsley Hall and his wife Sarah in Columbia, South Carolina.  One of only five National Historic Landmarks in the city, the Robert Mills House is a well-kept testament to the architectural prowess of one of the nation’s best designers.  Now a museum, the house boasts decorative arts of the early 19th century in styles including American Federal, English Regency, and French Empire.

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