Mills, Edgar L.
Born on June 7, 1921 in Tacoma, Edgar L. Mills received his architectural education primarily by on-the-job training. For reasons unknown, he spent just one year at an undisclosed college. Instead, Mills gained valuable experience by working for the Tacoma architectural firm of Heath, Gove & Bell for a year-and-a half; then for the firm of Rueger & Rueger; and finally for the firm of Lea, Pearsons & Richards for five plus years.
After receiving his architectural license in 1949, Mills formed a partnership with architect, Arnold F. Jensen. Together, the firm of Jensen & Mills quickly established a high profile practice in Tacoma and began receiving many important commissions in the South Sound area.
Their projects include their own Architects Office (1955); a Radio Communications Building (1952); Holy Cross Catholic Church (1957); Apex Cleaners (1950); the Harrison Pistol Range (1953) for the Tacoma Police Department; Puyallup City Hall (1953); Evergreen Elementary School (1955) in Key Peninsula; Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church (1956) in Spanaway; and Bellarmine Catholic Prep School Gym (1958) in Tacoma.
By 1959, Mills was a sole practitioner. Notable projects include St. Rose Catholic Church in Longview (1959); the South Tacoma Branch Library (1959); Tacoma Fire Station No. 7 (1959); and St. Nicholas Catholic Church (1959) in Gig Harbor; the Puyallup Public Library (1961); Meeker House Apartments (1961) in Puyallup; Holy Rosary Convent (1963); Allenmore Medical Center (1965); Skyline Presbyterian Church (1964); Lake Spanaway Golf Course Clubhouse (1966); and a doctorsí hospital (1967) in Tacoma.
Mills design for Cheney Stadium (1960) brought him much acclaim and his later plans for Elks Lodge No. 174 (1965) is one of his largest projects. The building houses a lodge room which can seat 1,000, a dining room, and lounge with dance floor, billiards and pool tables, bocce courts, an indoor swimming pool, handball/racquetball courts, an exercise room, and a softball field.
Mills passed away in Tacoma on October 15, 1967. Docomomo WEWA is seeking additional information about the life and work of Edgar L. Mills.
- Michael C. Houser