Tennessee Modernism: 3 houses designed by Herbert Millkey Sr.

Last week we explored the Timberlake area, a secluded enclave of modernism tucked just below the Tennessee River. However, there is one mid-century house from that area that I left off out of the blog. The oversight was intentional, don’t worry. I wanted to talk about the three modernist houses designed in East Tennessee by Herbert Millkey Sr, and I wanted to do it all at once.

Millkey was an Atlanta-based architect who studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati (BA), and at Yale University (M.Arch). There he had his was a principal in two firms (Moscowitz, Willner & Millkey and Millkey & Associates) and was a regional director at the AIA. Interestingly, his son, Herbert Millkey Jr was also an architect, one who co-founded the first interracial architecture firm in Georgia (called Millkey & Brown).

Tarlee Brown (L) and Herbert Millkey Jr (R) in 1978

Now, Herbert Millkey Sr’s practice was mostly focused on commercial architecture, with the two notable exceptions. The first was a house he designed for cartoonist Ed Dodd in Atlanta, Georgia.

The other notable exception to Herbert Millkey Sr’s commercial heavy practice was his own residence in Nancy Creek, Georgia (now demolished).

But enough about Georgia. Let’s dive into the Tennessee connection, shall we?

Structure: Frederick Fisher House
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Architect: Herbert Millkey Sr.
Date: 1957

Structure: Robert Fiddler House
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Architect: Herbert Millkey Sr.
Date: 1956
Tidbit: Mr. Fiddler worked at Rich’s, which was headquartered in Atlanta. He and hsi wife fell in love with mid-century modern style architecture after seeing Mr. Millkey’s personal residence featured in a magazine. Unfortunately, the Fiiddler house was eventually remodeled into oblivion (turned into a McMansion).

Structure: William Way House
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Architect: Herbert Millkey Sr.
Date: 1955
Story: Now we come to the part of the story left out of the Timberlake blog. The house was designed for William Way, the head of the Transportation Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Unfortunately for the Way’s, William died of a heart attack a year after the house was built.

Over time, new owners added on + remodeled the house, while still retaining a lot of its original character.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s