Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Few Recent Buildings by Johnson & Miller Architects

This is a question for our preservation friends in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area: which of these Johnson & Miller designed schools are still standing?

The advertisement likely dates from 1915-1918 when MacMillan "Mac" Houston Johnson, Jr. and Warren D. Miller were well-established with their firm in Terre Haute. Johnson, who had studied at DePauw University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, originally opened his practice in Brazil, Indiana, in 1910. Miller, after his graduation from the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania, joined him the following year and the firm changed its name to Johnson & Miller. The partners established a second office in Terre Haute's Ball Building on Ohio Street a year later and maintained both offices until 1915. At that time they closed the Brazil branch and moved the Terre Haute branch to 105 S. Seventh Street.

Warren's brother, Ewing H. Miller, also studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and joined the firm in 1919 after completing military service. The firm was then known as Johnson, Miller and Miller.

Numerous iterations of the firm's principals were to follow in quick succession due to the untimely deaths of Johnson and Ewing Miller a few months apart in 1923 and the additions of other architects. It became Johnson, Miller, Miller & Yeager (1924-29), Miller & Yeager (1930-45), Miller, Yeager & Vrydaugh (1946), Miller & Vrydaugh (1947-54), and then Miller, Vrydaugh & Miller when Ewing H. Miller's son, Ewing H. Miller II joined the firm. When Vrydaugh left the firm, it became Miller, Miller & Associates (1962-65) until Warren Miller's retirement which resulted in the name Ewing Miller Associates (1966-70). Ewing Miller later started Archonics Corporation, which had offices in Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, and Indianapolis.

Over the years, Johnson & Miller and its successor firms were responsible for designing numerous schools, university buildings, government offices, and businesses in Terre Haute and the surrounding area. Many of the drawings for these projects can be found in the Drawings + Documents Archive's Johnson & Miller Architectural Records Collection.

*An addendum to the post: We've heard that only one of the eight schools featured in this advertisement still stands today, the Eliza B. Warren School.

Image: Johnson & Miller advertisement, ca. 1918 (24-113). Johnson & Miller Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

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