Well, we come to the granddaddy of them all, the National Register of Historic Places. What places have been listed this year and why are they important? Ask and you shall receive, the Bible says, so I came hat in hand to my friends in the Historic Preservation Division at MDAH, expecting a simple list, but instead I got a wealth of information all written out nice and purty, so that all I have to do is cut and paste.
Once I saw it, I realized that this is way too much for even my hearty MissPres readers to digest in one day, so the National Register list will be a two-parter. Next year, I’ll do a better job at helping publicize the listings throughout the year so that at the end of the year, I’ll just have a handy list linked back to the posts from earlier in the year.
Everything below here, including pictures, come straight from MDAH. Thanks y’all!
Fairview School, Canton vicinity, Madison County
The Fairview School is a resource once common across the Mississippi countryside, but now rapidly vanishing. The two-room frame building located on the grounds of the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church served the local African-American community as a school from the 1920s into the 1960s. An average of forty students in grades one through eight attended the school each year, walking up to one and a half miles to get there. The school also functioned as a social and meeting place for its rural community. Although threatened when a new church building was constructed, Fairview School was saved through the efforts of an alumni group who recognized the historic value of the school to the community and who continue to work towards its preservation. The nomination was written by Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. The building was listed on February 11, 2009.
Hays House, Lorman, Jefferson County
The Hays House is a fine local example of a Greek Revival planter’s cottage with a full-façade gallery. The planter’s cottage was a common house form that developed in Mississippi in the early nineteenth century and was often associated with plantation or farm life. The Hays House, built in 1858, illustrates many features of the form. The one-and-one-half story, the side gable roof and center hall are all common elements, although the hall is open in the parlor. Greek Revival details include the square wood columns on the full-façade gallery and understated door surround. An extraordinary pigeonnaire is a contributing resource. The nomination was written by Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. The house was listed on March 10, 2009.
South Lamar Historic District, Oxford, Lafayette County
The South Lamar Historic District in Oxford contains 272 contributing resources, primarily residences, illustrating the popular styles of residential architecture over a 100-year period. Ranging from antebellum mansions built by the commercial elite in the Greek Revival and Italianate styles, to Queen Anne cottages for the middle class, to Craftsman bungalows and Colonial Revival houses built during the boom years of the 1920s, the South Lamar Historic District illustrates the growth of Oxford before the introduction of modern subdivisions with curvilinear streets, cul-de-sacs and other land use characteristics foreign to the gridded streets of the early city plan. The nomination was written by architectural historian John Linn Hopkins and listed on March 10, 2009.
Winona Community House, Winona, Montgomery County
Completed in July 1936, the Winona Community House is one of seventeen known Works Progress Administration community houses built during the New Deal. The Winona Community House was built in the Tudor Revival style, recognized by the use of half-timbering, steep pitched roofs with intersecting gables and prominent chimneys. The stone façade is rare for a Mississippi public building due to the lack of high quality building stone in the state. Bill Gatlin, MDAH staff architectural historian wrote the nomination. The building was listed on March 10, 2009.
The Woolworth Building in Clarksdale was completed in 1955. It is significant for its association with Commerce as one of the first stores to place merchandise on open shelves for customers to handle. The “five and dime” stores, represented by Woolworths, were a common feature on the main streets of most towns throughout the country. The building replaced an older store and the building reflected the International style of architecture popularized by European architects who fled to the United States in the 1930s. The Woolworth Building is associated with the civil rights movement. After protests and sit-ins at stores around the country challenged whites-only lunch counters, the store closed its 27-seat lunch counter rather than desegregate service. The nomination was written by owner Kinchen O’Keefe and was listed on March 19, 2009.
Kosciusko Historic District, Kosciusko, Attala County
The Kosciusko Historic District, Kosciusko, Attala County, contains 381 buildings including residences, commercial buildings, public buildings, churches and schools. The district is significant for its association with community development and planning and architecture. The general patterns of growth and the evidence of economic upturns and bad times appear on the face of the district. The district contains the greatest concentration of architecturally significant public and private buildings in the city and contains examples of popular styles over a one-hundred year period. Nancy Bell, historic preservation consultant, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on March 31, 2009.
Carnation Milk Plant, Tupelo, Lee County
Built in 1927, the Carnation Milk Plant illustrates the public-private partnerships that have sparked the economic growth in the Tupelo area. The plant generated $1,500,000 annually in payments to local farmers for dairy products. The business model was the basis for Community Development Foundation which continues to coordinate public and private programs in many areas. The design of the poured concrete building with large windows and its emphasis on efficiency marked a change in the manner of industrial buildings in Tupelo. The nomination was written by Michael Jones, a Tupelo architect and chairman of the local historic preservation commission. The building was listed on August 30, 2009.
Columbia North Residential Historic District, Columbia, Marion County
With 354 contributing resources, the vast majority of which are houses, the Columbia North Residential Historic District visually expresses the growth of Columbia from its early beginnings as a railroad stop through the Great Depression when it became the laboratory for efforts to balance agriculture with industry. With buildings dating from the 1890s into the 1960s the district presents a unique amalgamation of styles which exemplifies Columbia’s heritage and character. The nomination, written by David Preziosi, Executive Director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, was accepted by the Keeper on August 20, 2009.
Clarksdale Historic District, Clarksdale, Coahoma County
The Clarksdale Historic District encompasses 300 acres of the City of Clarksdale from the Sunflower River to DeSoto Avenue and Clark Street to Tenth Street. With 358 contributing resources, the buildings, sites and structures illustrate a near comprehensive history of the growth and development of this Delta city from its founding in 1861 to the modern era. Commercial buildings include a grand high-rise hotel and a small motel catering to itinerant Blues musicians. Residential buildings vary from the Greek Revival mansion of founder John Clark to shotgun houses for millworkers. The district contains the largest concentration of institutional, governmental, commercial, and industrial resources in the community and a broad representation of residential buildings. The nomination was written by consultant Tish Wright and MDAH architectural historians Jennifer Baughn and Bill Gatlin. The district was listed on September 14, 2009.