• 46°

Meridian native, architect dies

By Staff
From staff and wire reports
Dec. 31, 2001
Meridian native Samuel Mockbee, an award-winning architect who lectured at many universities, died Sunday of complications from leukemia at a Jackson hospital.
A funeral service for is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of the Mediator in Meridian, followed by burial at Magnolia Cemetery. Mockbee was 57.
Archer, a friend of Mockbee's for more than 40 years, said his greatest accomplishment was founding Auburn University's Rural Architectural Studio in rural West Alabama.
Mockbee received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2000, commonly known as a genius'' grant, partly in recognition of his work with the Rural Architecture Studio.
A graduate of Auburn who founded his architectural firm in 1977, Mockbee grew up in Meridian and had lived in Canton for several years.
He pursued architecture as an art form, but he also pursued it as a social cause, to help people who have less,'' Jackson architect Jim Eley said. He made a lot out of life.''
Mockbee founded the Rural Architecture Studio in Hale County. From there, he and his students designed and built architecturally unique and inexpensive houses for indigent residents in one of the nation's poorest regions.
The students are learning about architecture from the ground up, but they're learning a lot more than that,'' Mockbee said in a newspaper interview earlier this year. And they're learning by doing what they ought to be doing, making a difference.''
Archer said that Mockbee "mentored, watched, pushed and pulled. Then they would actually begin to build homes, a community center, a chapel. Students had to find and scavenge and scrounge materials themselves."
In seven years of using salvage timber, license plates, old tires and hay bales, Auburn students built five houses, two community centers, a playground and a community chapel.
Mockbee devised the idea in 1992 while serving as a guest critic for students at a Clemson University-owned villa in Italy. Back at Auburn, he proposed that instead of sending students abroad, the university should deploy them to the Black Belt.
Last year, Mockbee received the National Building Museum's first Apgar Award for excellence.
Models of some of Mockbee's designs in Alabama will join the work of a select few other artists at the prestigious 2002 Whitney Biennial Show in New York.
Survivors include his wife, Jackie; three daughters and a son.

Franklin County

Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association names Cattleman of Year at annual meeting

Franklin County

Farmers market offers vouchers for those 60-plus

Franklin County

Vaccine distribution begins in Franklin County 

Franklin County

County adopts collaborative action plan for hazard mitigation

Franklin County

Commissioners explain split vote regarding county engineer’s contract renewal

Franklin County

Ashlyn & Austin James – Aug. 1, 2020

Features

Local florists offer tips for wedding beauty in blooms

Franklin County

Virtual limitations brings new innovation in 4-H 

Franklin County

Officials urge safety during winter weather

Franklin County

Vaccine distribution widens

Franklin County

Franklin County sees fewer students choose virtual

Franklin County

First Metro Bank hosts fundraiser for FAME Ranch 

Franklin County

Franklin County Tournament Champions

Franklin County

ADPH expands vaccine distribution

News

Russellville Fire Department presents annual awards

Franklin County

Tiffin Motorhomes sells to THOR Industries

News

306 Barbecue plans for Russellville location

News

RCS returns to school with increased in-person numbers

Franklin County

DHR seeks foster parents

Franklin County

ADPH pleas for halt to COVID vaccine phone calls

Franklin County

Frog Pond resident Steve Trash opens Alabama Academy of Magic 

News

New restaurant opens in former Taylor’s location

News

City adds to property on Highway 24

Franklin County

Commission looks to hire assistant engineer

x