“Stanton Hall,” Natchez

Stanton Hall, Natchez – (1857-58) (National Historic Landmark). Constructed on an entire city block-sized lot in 1857-58 by builder/architect Thomas Rose for cotton merchant Frederick Stanton (who only lived in Stanton Hall one month), Stanton Hall shows the blending of Romanticism and Classicism that occurred in the 1850s as American architectural tastes were moving from Greek Revival to Italianate, Gothic Revival, and various “Victorian” styles. The house form is classic Natchez, just larger, with an imposing central portico and center-hall plan. The portico capitals, doorways, and centerpieces were copied directly from Minard Lafever’s 1835 Greek Revival book Beauties of Modern Architecture. Yet many Italianate exterior and interior details, such as the cast iron balustrades on the front portico and the cupola, show what direction Mississippi’s architecture would have gone if the rest of Mississippi had not decided to secede from the Union (Adams and Warren Counties were the only two counties smart enough to vote against seccession). Stanton Hall also is a prime example of the extravagance of Natchez and Mississippi architecture during the 1850s; Frederick Stanton spent over $83,000 to construct the house, using Carrera marble for the floors, mahogany for the doors, and granite for the front steps, then he spent tens of thousands more to furnish the house with a wide variety of European imports. Stanton Hall today is in impeccable condition as the Natchez Pilgrimage Garden Club headquarters.

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