Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting the historic home of author and humanitarian Pearl S. Buck in Pennsylvania. Her home is a meandering series of additions and expansions of a modest Pennsylvania farm house. The tour we took through the house included a stop in her office, or more accurately her writing and art studio. I was really taken with this space and it just seemed to me like a terrific place to work, in fact just a terrific place to spend your day. That seems to be one of the true tests of a good workplace.
Her work space had a mix of traditional desks for typing and desk work. But there was also a series of comfortable chairs and sofas where you could conduct more thoughtful activities or conduct a meeting in a less formal setting. Also present in the space was a small loft area that overlooked the rest of the work room. Pearl Buck used this loft for sculpture work. I thought that it was interesting that she brought this other activity right into her main work room. I'll bet that offered a wonderful opportunity to change gears so to speak and clear your head so you could return to tasks with a fresh mind.
I asked the Curator of the facility, Donna Rhodes, if she could offer us any insight as to how Pearl Buck used the work room and how she spent her days there. She was very kind to reply and I have her comments below the link.
Yes Miss Buck integrated her 1938 office writing space, and art space in this addition to her 1825 home. Her loft served as a sculpting area which has a low balcony wall and a small window facing south.
Her office had two desks pushed together where she often worked on two separate pieces of literature each morning. Her work day began at 8:00am after her children left for school, and ended at 1:00 for lunch and further demands of her day.
The large picture window with window seat below faces south and she writes of the scene in many books including My Several Worlds. At one time her namesake yellow rose bushes had a home under this window. In 1949 the two greenhouses are added. One with her original camellias the other for fresh cut flowers.
Thank you for your interest in Pearl S. Buck and her beautiful Green Hills Farm home.
Fantastic. We've looked at the spaces of several writers over the course of the past few months but I really like the workplace of Miss Buck the best!