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Tuskegee Institute’s Milbank Agricultural Building was designed in 1909 by William Sidney Pittman, wheelwrighting alumnus and son-in-law of school founder Booker T. Washington. Named for Jeremiah Milbank, a founder of the Borden Milk Company, and funded by his daughter, Elizabeth Milbank Anderson, the new agricultural building housed laboratories, offices, and classrooms. The large brick, three-and-a-half-story building has visually thin walls with shallow reveals at the windows. The square-headed window openings lack the variations in shape, size, and rhythm with which Taylor typically enlivened walls elsewhere on campus. The building featured roofing slate, a rare material at Tuskegee. The Jacobean curving gables and protruding porch establish a new motif for the school’s expanding agricultural campus. Along with poultry colony houses, brooder and incubator structures, and goose and duck houses, the Milbank Agricultural Building was placed far west of the Boys’ Trades Building, on the last high ground before the terrain sank into a bog.
Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver’s personal laboratory was located in the Milbank Agricultural Building. Now known as Milbank Hall, the building was renovated in 1985 and houses Tuskegee’s Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Fluker, Roderick. “Tuskegee Charts a Progressive Course: 1953-1969.” Paper presented at symposium, The Architecture of Historic Black Colleges and Universities: Principles, Legacy, and Preservation. Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2015.
Massey, Dean James Earl. A Bridge Between: A Centennial History of Campus Ministry at Tuskegee University 1888–1988. Tuskegee University, n.d.
Weiss, Ellen B. Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee: An African American Architect Designs for Booker T. Washington. Montgomery, AL: New South Press, 2012.
Weiss, Ellen B. “Tuskegee: Landscape in Black and White.” Winterthur Portfolio 36, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 19-37.
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