“Auburn,” Natchez

Auburn, Natchez – (1812, c. 1830) (National Historic Landmark). This is New England builder Levi Weeks’s first Natchez mansion and his earliest remaining Mississippi structure. Weeks constructed Auburn in 1812 for Massachusetts-born lawyer Lyman Harding. Levi Weeks referred to Auburn as “the most magnificent Building in the territory…the first house in the Territory on which was ever attempted the orders of Architecture.” The Ionic portico “was the first monumental portico west of South Carolina” according to Mills Lane, in his important book Architecture of the Old South: Mississippi-Alabama. Weeks used William Pain’s British Palladio, William Salmon’s Palladio Londinensis, and Abraham Swan’s Collection of Designs in Architecture during the construction of Auburn. The two side wings, in the Greek Revival style, along with the billiard hall and other outbuildings, were added between 1836 and 1840. Auburn maintains an enormous degree of original architectural integrity in both the exterior and the interior, which still contains Weeks’s freestanding spiral staircase and exquisite woodwork.

Auburn, staircase

1 reply

  1. Levi Weeks left New York after he was successfully defended in a murder trial by no less than Burr, Hamilton and Livingston The trial is noteworthy enough to be memorialized by the Historical Society of the New York Courts. http://www.nycourts.gov/history/legal-history-new-york/legal-history-eras-02/history-new-york-legal-eras-people-weeks.html

    There is an extant letter in which he describes the building of “Auburn”. See the Levi Weeks archive collection mentioned at http://archive.org/stream/southernresearch07univ/southernresearch07univ_djvu.txt

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