Friday, August 6, 2010

Drawings by Indiana’s Gladys J. Miller Now Online

Students, faculty, and researchers now have online access to the Gladys J. Miller Architectural Records Collection. Architect Gladys J. Miller is one of Indiana’s first female architects.
This collection is the latest Drawings and Documents Archive addition to the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. The collection contains 185 architectural drawings from fifty of Miller's commissions from 1950 to 1979 and reflects the career of one of Indiana’s award-winning architects.

Only the third registered female architect in Indiana, Gladys J. Miller (1926- 1993) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949. She went on to manage her own successful architectural firm in a climate when few women practiced architecture on their own. A year before graduation, Gladys received the Beaux Arts Institute of Design Award, now the Van Alen Institute (New York City), Award, which enabled her to travel extensively in Europe before beginning her career.

After her return, she worked as a designer and draftsman in Philadelphia and later moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, with her husband, architect Ewing H. Miller II, FAIA, whom she had met in college. In 1958 in Terre Haute, Gladys established her own architecture firm, Gladys J. Miller Architect. Also known professionally as Gladys Good Miller, she was known familiarly as “Hap” or “Happy” to her friends and colleagues.

Gladys’ firm specialized in residential architecture, as depicted in the Margaret James Adamson home (1961) (illustrated here), remodeling of the Indiana State University president’s house (1965), and the conversion of a barn into a residence for the Prox family (1978), all located in or near Terre Haute.

She also built small commercial buildings, such as the Dobbs Park Nature Center and the Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council headquarters, both located in Terre Haute. Gladys’ husband donated the collection to the Drawings and Documents Archive in the late 1980s, along with drawings by his own firm and those of his uncle and father, which comprise the Johnson and Miller Architectural Records Collection.

Three generations of the Miller family were influential architects in Terre Haute during the majority of the twentieth century, and the Johnson and Miller collection reflects their significance to Indiana’s built environment. As with many important drawings available in the archive for research, the rolls of project drawings were in a basement storage room for years until they were donated to the archive.

To view the Gladys J. Miller Architectural Records collection in the DMR, visit For more information, contact Carol A. Street, University Libraries’ Archivist for Architectural Records,, 765-285-8441.