Whew, we’ve reached the end of another competitive contest, and today’s results will decide who earns the title Mississippi’s Preservationist Extraordinaire. Earlier in the week, W. White took the lead and held it for two days before tsj1957 battled back for a tie on Wednesday and took a one-point lead yesterday. We’ve set some records this week y’all! Yeah, ok they’re nerdy records, but still . . . most comments on a post so far: 42 on Wednesday; most views in one day: 635 on Thursday (blows the previous record of 350 out of the water). I’m excited to see all you knowledgeable people throwing your hats in the ring, and I hope that by the time the next contest rolls around, we’ll have even more people so enthusiastic about Mississippi’s architecture.
Business calls me to Natchez today, and since I’m clueless about how to use a cell phone much less one of those fancy smart phones, I’ve asked doakley, former MS Preservationist Extraordinaire, to help moderate the discussion and help keep y’all in line long enough for me to make it back and declare the winner. However, she won’t be able to help you get out of spam or moderation if your comment gets sent there. I’ve tried to unclick every box I can to make sure all comments get through today, but if yours doesn’t, make sure to go into WordPress.com and sign in first with your e-mail and then comment. I hope it won’t be a problem.
Good luck, and I’m looking forward to seeing who has pulled out the victory later this afternoon!
tsj1957: 6 points
W. White: 5 points
Carunzel: 4 points
JRGordon: 3 points
Belinda: 2 points
doakley: 1 point
Tougaloo College, Tougaloo.
Carunzel, if you’re right, and Jackson felt right on this one, is it a parking garage or a laboratory?
Coleman Library, Tougaloo College, Jackson, Mississippi, Gunnar Birketts and Associates, arch’ts, 1972.
While I am a feeble stand-in for Malvaney, I can tell you that answer is correct. I believe there is still some information out there available for additional points.
Gunnar Birketts and Associates designed many buildings on campus in the 1970s, the dorms being another prominent example.
The Tougaloo College Library was one of three buildings completed on the campus in 1972 and was the prototype of the future academic matrix envisioned by the Master Plan compiled by Gunnar Birkets. The design of the building was influenced by the requirement for expandability and the need to sink concrete caissons 60 feet into the Yazoo clay base until secure ground could be penetrated. Gunnar Birkerts used an innovative structural technology which combined poured-in-place, vertical posts and other precast, concrete members which were fabricated on site. The expandable structural system became a visually unifying element, as it defined both the interior and exterior spaces of the building. The earliest dated drawings are from 1967 and the latest 1978
There is a lot of very interesting information about this firm at their website, http://www.gunnarbirkerts.com/
The firms archives are at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, which has a lot of wonderful information about the firm’s work in MS.
By the time that Birkets had designed the buildings at Tougaloo College, the Latvian immigrant was already a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In Birkets early career, he worked with some impressive names in architecture, Eero Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki. His office was in Detroit during most of his career; yet, his most widely known buildings are scattered throughout America (Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY).
The Tougaloo College project is Gunnar Birkets’s only one located in Mississippi, or at least the only one he lists on his website. If you want more information, there are slides detailing the unbuilt parts of the project on his website. According to Birkets, he worked on the Tougaloo College Master Plan from 1965 to 1971.
Wow! Everyone has commented with a lot of good information, and so FAST! I have been given no authority to award points, so I’ll leave that to ol’ Malvaney later in the day. Feel free to keep updating with any more info as the day goes on. Who knows, there may be some unearned points just floating around out there.
Congratulations y’all! Once again I failed to stump the experts. By my count, Carunzel won two points, and tsj1957 and W. White both get one–that makes tsj our winner and our first two-time (not to be confused with two-timing) Mississippi Preservationist Extraordinaire.
I’ll post the final standings later tonight, and meanwhile, y’all can think about what, if anything you’d like to change for the next time around. Should there be more opportunities to earn points?
Thanks again for all your participation this week. I had fun, and I hope you did too.
Oh, I thought everything was perfect with the exception on that pesky spamming business!
Well, for what it’s worth, the winner thinks everything turned out swell :-)
I feel that my competition performance was hindered by the extremely ugly building used for the last round :-) Seriously, the Coleman Library is not a great looking structure. I will look at Mitchell Memorial Library with a new appreciation.
Since I never got spammed, I think the competition turned out nicely, except that I lost.
I think it you saw the inside of Coleman, you might think differently.
Don’t change a thing, E.; oh wait, you already did!
Lol, nothing in the rules about ugly buildings being banned :-) And while it’s not the architecture I naturally love (and I’m very very glad the original plan wasn’t carried out fully because it involved the demolition of all the older buildings), this library and the two dormitories by the same firm are pretty interesting–you should visit the campus sometime and see what you think.