Miss. Architect, May 1963: Lafayette County Jail

LAFAYETTE COUNTY JAIL

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI

This county jail is located on one of the main streets in town. The architects who designed it took into account two primary needs: the need for privacy and the need for fresh design.

The new structure stands at the site of the old jail, torn down after 90 years of use. County officials told the architects they wanted to allot most of the space in the new building to male prisoners, but provide for women and juveniles. Other requirements were as much on-site parking as possible and a three-bedroom apartment for the jailer.

The new 6,100-square-foot facility has two sections-the residence with entrance facing the main street, and the jail itself, facing a side street.

Screen tile was used on both the jail and residence sections of the building to provide privacy. This allows viewing from the inside out, but minimizes viewing into the building.

Since the jailer is charged with feeding the prisoners, it was necessary to locate and size the residence kitchen for this purpose. In addition to the huge kitchen, the residence area contains a living-dining room, three bedrooms, a breakfast-sewing room, two baths and a utility room.

The jail section has two offices, the jailer’s work area, storage and utility space, detention areas for 24 white and 24 Negro men, for six white and six Negro women, for two white and two Negro juveniles, and one padded cell.

Construction is of concrete floor slabs, beams, columns, roof slab, and some interior concrete walls. The interior is of concrete block, and the exterior, of brick, screen tile and concrete.

Cost of construction was $149,747.50, not including residence furnishings.

BREWER. SKEWES and GODBOLD
Architects and Engineers
Clarksdale

A. B. CULLEN and SON
General Contractor
Oxford

POWELL BROTHERS
Mechanical Contractor
Oxford

WARREN ELECTRICAL COMPANY
Electrical Contractor
Senatobia

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This article is reprinted from the May 1963 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. For other articles in this ongoing series, including the pdf version of each full issue, click on the MSArcht tab at the top of this page.



Categories: Architectural Research, Jails, Oxford

3 replies

  1. With all due respect to Brewer, Skewes, and Godbold, I prefer the Victorian flair and false window openings (with window hoods) that was the old jail.

    Like

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