Mid-Century Medical

In Jackson just south of the Veterans Memorial Stadium is a group of buildings dubbed University Plaza that were developed c.1954 when University of Mississippi opened its medical school on the other side of North State Street.  While some of the more prominent buildings of this grouping have suffered demolition, others seem to be used and well cared for.

Recently I stumbled across a September 1956 edition of Architectural South [AS-1956-09 J.T. Liddle] that featured a medical office designed by Jay T. Liddle.  The article didn’t give up much information about the location but did provide the doctors names as Cyrus Johnson and Julius Wiener.  Hmm I was sure I had seen J.T. Liddle and a Dr. Wiener mentioned in the same breath before.  Thanks to a detailed biography written by his son I was able to determine not only where Julius Wiener’s clinic is located, but also where I had seen J.T. Liddle and Dr. Wiener mentioned before.  It was Julius’s brother Dr. William Wiener who commissioned his cousins William & Samuel Wiener as Architects and J.T. Liddle, Associated Architect to design Dr. William’s house in Jackson’s Woodland Hills.

White Waiting room Johnson Wiener medical office Jackson Hinds Co. Photo by Emmet King c1956 Architectural South Sept. 1956

White waiting room Johnson Wiener medical office. Jackson, Hinds Co. Photo by Emmet King c.1956 Architectural South Sept. 1956

In this medical office building, Architect Jay T. Liddle, Jr., of Jackson, Miss., has designed equal space facilities for two urologist who are joint owners of the building, but who are not professionally associated.  Each physician continued his private and separate practice of medicine, the physicians being Dr. Cyrus C. Johnson and Dr. Julian Wiener.

For economy of space and construction cost, it was decided that certain rooms could be used by each physician, with one central heating and air conditioning system.  The consultation-examination-treatment section for each doctor was located along the preferred exterior wall of each suite, with joint facilities located between and at the end of the two interior circulation corridors.

Johnson Wiener office Jackson Hinds Co. Emmet King c1956 Architectural South Sept. 1956

Johnson Wiener medical office. Jackson, Hinds Co. Photo by Emmet King c.1956 Architectural South Sept. 1956

Although each physician has his individual cystoscopic x-ray room for radiographic examinations, only one control unit area and dark room was provided with easy access from both cysto rooms.  The one laboratory-utility room and joint waiting rooms are located for convenient access to both circulation corridors.

The building has masonry exterior walls, with structural steel frame with steel roof deck.  Wood stud partitions are plastered and panelled.  Acoustical tile ceilings and terrazzo floors are used throughout.  Lemlar metal jalousies on the east and west windows enable sun and heat reduction control.  Charles P. McMullan was the associate architect, with Hamilton-Shultz-Lake as mechanical engineers and Campbell Construction Company as the general contractor.

floor plan Johnson Wiener office Jackson Hinds Co.Architectural South Sept 1956

Floor plan Johnson Wiener medical office. Jackson, Hinds Co. Drafted plan attributed to J.T. Liddle c.1955. Architectural South Sept. 1956

Not exactly sure how this little building ended up in Architectural SouthAS was a small magazine published in Charlotte, NC.  The publication’s advertisers appear to be mostly window manufactures of which Liddle may have been a patron.  Whatever the case from Google Maps view the building looks used and in decent shape today.  Maybe a Jackson reader familiar with the building can give us a better current condition description and perhaps even a photo?



Categories: Historic Preservation, Jackson, Modernism

Tags: ,

10 replies

  1. What a great find! I spent some time at University Plaza a few months ago and this will inspire me to post my pictures. Several of the buildings are little Modernist gems, and I’m sad I didn’t photograph the complex before the two or three buildings on the southeast side were demolished. Interesting connection with to the Wieners too. Thanks for finding this long lost article!

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    • Yay Pictures! I look forward to seeing other buildings in the complex. I was surprised to see from the Google satellite images that the panels on the front facade are bright blue. Don’t know if that’s their original finish or if it was painted that shade. Either way kudos to the owner for not painting the building bland beige.

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  2. it’s good to see some attention paid to this little grouping of post-war professional office buildings, when masses of ex-GIs finished their (long-delayed) schooling and hung out their shingle. I can’t imagine that optimism today.

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  3. As an aside, when I see plans of professional/public buildings designed pre 1965 +/- it’s jarring to find spaces labelled “white waiting room” and “colored waiting room”, and equally so to compare the amenities offfered- or not- for each.

    I can’t read the room names on this image; wish I could.

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