A Lustron House in Clarksdale and Sambo Mockbee all in one post?

A couple months ago, as you recall, we highlighted the one Lustron house left in Jackson (out of originally three), and I made passing mention to the only other known Lustron house in the state up in Clarksdale. Well, lo and behold, Susan Allen, she of Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles (which really cannot be said enough times), picked up on that and drove over to Clarksdale to find the house.

As you can see, our Clarksdale Lustron is the same Westchester model as the Jackson house, but it’s had at least one alteration in the enclosure of the little corner porch to the left. Otherwise, it’s all together, including its metal shingle roof–just like they say, hard to change a metal house.

Susan also passed along some information I neglected to include in Friday’s News Roundup regarding a showing of the new documentary about Sam Mockbee in Oxford tomorrow evening. This showed previously in Jackson and Starkville in April and will air nationally on PBS next Monday, August 23 at 9 PM:

On Tuesday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre Oxford, the University of Mississippi Museum presents a screening of “Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio.” This moving documentary film chronicles the work of late architect and MacArthur foundation “genius grant” recipient Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee and the radical educational design/build program called the Rural Studio that he founded in Hale County, Alabama in 1992.

Event tickets are $20 Reserved Seating, $10 General Admission, and $5 General Admission for Students with valid student ID, and may be purchased at the Lyric Theatre box office or online by visiting http://www.thelyricoxford.com. Tickets are also available at the University of Mississippi Museum, located at University Avenue and Fifth Street in Oxford. To view the film’s trailer, visit: http://citizenarchitectfilm.com/.

Mockbee was a fifth-generation Mississippian, winning many national awards for innovation in architecture. Oxonian Carol Mockbee, producer of “Thacker Mountain Radio” (and Sambo’s daughter) is also in the film bringing one of her father’s last designs to life. Sam Douglas, the film’s director will lead a Q&A session with Carol to follow the film. The evening’s music is by Oxford musician Jake Fussell, who composed the film’s soundtrack.

Sorry for the late notice–I hope some of y’all can get on over to the Lyric and let us know how it is.

Check out the MissPres calendar for other upcoming events that I have inadvertently neglected to mention, including a rally to Save Margaret’s Grocery this Thursday in Vicksburg. The MissPres calendar is always available in a little link to the top right of the blog, just below the header, and since it’s a Google calendar, all you people with fancy smart phones can grab it somehow and it magically appears in your own calendar.



Categories: Architectural Research, Clarksdale, Modernism, Recent Past

7 replies

  1. Interesting about Sambo Mockbee. Though we never met him, we certainly saw his work, and got to know some of the Auburn Rural Studio students when we lived in Hale Co, AL.

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  2. Well, I’ve heard you mention Hale County but until just now I didn’t realize that was where the Rural Studio is based–so much for my vaunted observational powers.

    Just curious what you think about Mockbee’s/Rural Studio work in that part of Alabama? I had the opportunity to see some of the public buildings, like the Newbern fire station and the Perry Lake pavilions a few years ago, and I thought they were beautiful, but I’ve also seen pictures of some of the houses and wondered what the occupants think of them–they aren’t normal-looking houses and may be difficult to maintain?

    I do admire Mockbee’s passion for working out how architecture might help alleviate poverty, but it doesn’t seem to me that the answer to that question is clear yet.

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  3. Memory is kind of a funny thing. I remember seeing something built out of tires (maybe a chapel?) and the infamous “house on a silo” (very practical that). I remember getting directions to a friend’s camp house, who told us, “Turn when you see the house on the silo.” I assumed she meant “a house painted on a silo”. Silly me.

    We toured a very funky cool building the students built as an after-school center out of reclaimed materials, etc.

    It always seemed to me that, as you say, all of it was more experimental, with the hope it would one day yield sustainable and affordable dwellings and public buildings. It did add some excitement to a county in which not much happened!

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  4. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from my tour of the Rural Studio structures, but I seem to recall tires somehow involved in the Newbern Fire Station–maybe around the foundation piers?

    “House on a silo”–welcome to Wonderland, Alice :-)

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  5. My favorite is the house with walls made of stacked carpet squares: http://www.inqmnd.ca/blog/?p=11812

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