This Christmas week, the MissPres authors are pulling out some of their favorite posts and re-packaging them with our comments about why they’re our favorites.
These two posts enhance our knowledge about one of Mississippi’s most important architects. P.J. Krouse’s name comes up frequently in News Roundups (usually in tandem with his Meridian City Hall design), showing just how important he was then and now to the state’s built environment. Krouse is also an architect who I am interested in due to his short partnership with Alabama architect Clarence L. Hutchisson Sr. and his design of George Hall, the former infirmary, at Mississippi State University. I also had the opportunity to examine Krouse’s exquisitely rendered elevation drawings for the Meridian City Hall when they were displayed for a short period in the Architecture Branch Library at Mississippi State University. Krouse designed the finest Egyptian Revival structure in Mississippi with the Meridian Scottish Rite Temple; with George Hall, Krouse designed the finest (and possibly only) example of Edwardian architecture in the state. Although much more needs to be written about Krouse, since an architect of his importance to Meridian and Mississippi deserves a book-length treatment, Mark Clinton Davis’s posts are an introduction to an important architect who has often appeared as a shadowy figure to preservationists and students of Mississippi architecture due to a lack of available information. Davis’s posts help rescue Krouse’s life from the mists of history and are two of the top posts of 2011.
Malvaney pulled the rug right out from under me with this post from late February. First, it is a post with Alabama architecture connections. Second, I own The Alabama Review article on M.T. Lewman & Co. referenced in the post. The post is important for other, less personal reasons. The post attempts to rectify the fact that architectural history has ignored the companies that constructed many of Mississippi and the South’s architectural masterpieces. This is especially true for the New South era in which the Lewman company was active. It is a nebulous era in our understanding of Mississippi’s architectural and building establishment which is slowly being filled in with posts on architectural manufacturers (the Masonite plant in Laurel – “Laurel’s Contribution to Architectural History“; Southern Mantle & Tile in Jackson – “Southern Mantel & Tile: The secret’s in the lumber” and others in the series; historic sheetrock – “Historic Sheetrock? You betcha!“; and S. Spengler Saw and Planing Mill in Vicksburg – “MissPres News Roundup 8-23-2010“), builders (“Even more archt/builders pics: Brune, et al.“; “Builders pics: William J. McGee“; and “Mississippi Builders: Francis Blair Hull (1846-1922)“), and architects. The post on the Lewman company adds another piece to the state’s architectural puzzle, allowing us to hopefully capture at least a glimpse of what the overall picture is. Malvaney’s post on M. T. Lewman and Co. also brings back into our collective consciousness what has already been lost to history among Mississippi’s landmarks as the list of Lewman-built structures in the state is shockingly filled with demolished buildings; five courthouses, two depots, and one of the state’s finest hotels, all prime examples of New South-era architecture, all demolished. This post and the short list of Lewman-constructed buildings illustrate how many of Mississippi’s landmarks have been lost and why it is of paramount importance to preserve the remaining buildings; afterall, the site is called Preservation in Mississippi.
Categories: Historic Preservation