Paul Rudolph’s Legendary Milam Residence Hits the Market For $4.45 Million
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Paul Rudolph’s Legendary Milam Residence Hits the Market For $4.45 Million

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By Jennifer Pattison Tuohy
Designed by Paul Rudolph, the Milam Residence in northern Florida is a masterpiece of American residential architecture—and it could be yours for $4.45 million.

Paul Rudolph's 6,800-square-foot, beachfront Milam Residence has been held by the family of original owner Arthur W. Milam ever since it was built in 1961. Situated on the Atlantic coast in Ponte Vedra, just south of Jacksonville, Florida, the home was designed with its location in mind.

The four-bedroom home features a separate guest house and a swimming pool. 

The four-bedroom home features a separate guest house and a swimming pool. 

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The home is located on a recently restored beachfront site.

The home is located on a recently restored beachfront site.

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"This house is ‘art with a purpose’—the light on the house at different times of day changes its look," Realtor Clare Berry told The Florida Times Union in 2017, when the house was first listed. "The cantilever shape of the windows and the brise-soleil protect the glass from the sun. And Rudolph designed all the seven different levels of the home to reflect different uses and different moods."

The Milam Residence in January, 1962, one year after its completion.

The Milam Residence in January, 1962, one year after its completion.

Large windows throughout the home frame views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Large windows throughout the home frame views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The home's large, inoperable windows bring in ocean views while keeping the air conditioning tightly inside. Deep overhangs from the 8' x 8' concrete blocks shield the interiors from the fierce Florida sun—and they also provide protection from the ocean's wrath come hurricane season.

"The building is a highly individual stylistic statement, a one-of a- kind design created to suit the needs and tastes of a client for a comfortable and visually distinctive residence," the National Register of Historic places stated when the building was listed in 2016.

Rudolph created distinct areas in the home for residents to go according to their mood. The two-story window in the living room contrasts with other areas of the home which feel more secluded.  

Rudolph created distinct areas in the home for residents to go according to their mood. The two-story window in the living room contrasts with other areas of the home which feel more secluded.  

The home's kitchen in the 1960s.

The home's kitchen in the 1960s.

In The Architecture of Paul Rudolph, Rudolph writes that the Milam Residence is a composition of considerable spatial variety with vertical and horizontal interpenetration of spaces clearly defined inside and out. "Gone are the earlier notions of organization through regular structure with subdivisions of space freely spaced. Spatial organization has taken the place of purely structural organization. Floors and walls are extended in elaborated forms toward the views, thereby making of the facade a reflection of the interior space."

Brise-soleils help mitigate heat gain from the strong Florida sun.

Brise-soleils help mitigate heat gain from the strong Florida sun.

The Milam family installed a new retaining wall along the beach outside the home. 

The Milam family installed a new retaining wall along the beach outside the home. 

A video of the home in its current state is on the listing agent's website, and interested buyers can connect with the current owner, Milam's stepson Robert Champion, by phone at (904) 755 4785 or via email at robertchampion@bellsouth.net.

An original sketch of the house shows Rudolph's vision. "The exceptional wild Florida site 60 feet above the Atlantic Ocean is a counterfoil to the geometry of the structure," Paul Rudolph said of the home.

An original sketch of the house shows Rudolph's vision. "The exceptional wild Florida site 60 feet above the Atlantic Ocean is a counterfoil to the geometry of the structure," Paul Rudolph said of the home.

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Historical images by Joseph Molitor, courtesy of the Joseph W. Molitor architectural photograph collection, Columbia University, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library and the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.