Models in Vicksburg

No, I’m not talking about the kind of models that walk the runway looking thin and sullen, I’m returning to the subject of cool architectural models. Well, they’re all cool of course, but I had no idea that we had a little collection of them here in Mississippi! But the day after I put up the post about the Guggenheim and Fountainhead Lego models, the Clarion-Ledger ran a story about the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum and the architectural model of Pemberton’s Headquarters that has just been donated to add to their existing collection. You can see the whole article at the Clarion-Ledger site–sadly with no photos–but here’s a little clip:

Also known as the Willis-Cowan House, the Pemberton’s Headquarters scale model is the third donation to the museum by [Robin] Burr.

His first was a scale replica of the Vicksburg National Military Park’s Shirley House – which now sits prominently in the heart of the museum’s sprawling Vicksburg battlefield diorama – and last October delivered a model of the famous Old Court House, which took a year to complete.

.  .  .  .

The toughest part of building the model of the home, said Burr, were the tiny stairs leading to the home’s porch.

“In that little staircase there are 42 tiny pieces, and putting that together about wore me down,” Burr said. “That almost did me in.”

Of course, you could also go visit the real Pemberton’s Headquarters, Shirley House, and/or Old Court House, and you should, but a good model can sometimes teach you things about the construction and inner workings of a building that you can’t see at the actual house. (Note: This is not an argument for tearing down buildings and replacing them with models or pictures!!!!) Besides, sometimes (such as right now) you can’t visit the real place: Pemberton’s HQ is under renovation, and the Shirley House, closed to the public for several years and not well-maintained is finally getting some attention with federal stimulus money. You can and definitely should go see the Old Court House–it’ll knock your socks off!

As you may remember, I’m new to blogging, so I’m trying out new tricks, and one of those is embedding maps in my posts. So, if you want to get away to Vicksburg this weekend to see the models, here’s how you get there:

I have completely transformed into a geek.

Ok, it wasn’t much of a transformation, I admit.

Happy Weekend!

Categories: Architectural Research, Cool Old Places, Courthouses, Historic Preservation, Museums, Preservation Education, Vicksburg

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