The featured building in the August 1963 issue of Mississippi Architect is by R.B. Clopton, one of the Meridian Modernists who sometimes gets forgotten in the shadow of Chris Risher. I confess I don’t know much about Clopton except that he was the architect of downtown Meridian’s two big bank buildings, the old Merchants and Farmers Bank (now Regions) and the Citizens Bank, both of which, I think, fit into the New Formalist style. (As usual, I have found the AIA’s directory of architects to be very valuable in digging out even this small amount of information.)
I also had the opportunity a few years ago to tour a house he did in Philadelphia, Mississippi around 1960, and even in the early stages of liking and understanding Modernism, I found I really liked that house. It was sophisticated but comfortable and even homey, not a combination always achieved by Modernists in their residential design.
Clopton apparently liked to let his buildings tell their own story, as this is one of the shortest features I’ve seen in the Mississippi Architect series. I’ve never visited the West End School, but perhaps someone who knows more can tell us what they think about the building.
WEST END SCHOOL
THE 36,862-square-foot school pictured here was built in two phases. Its cluster plan of rooms around an open court contains 24 classrooms, an auditorium, kitchen, rest rooms and administrative offices. The cost data are as follows:
Cost Per Sq. Ft. Per Cu. Ft.
General $267,015.00 $7.04 $ .75
Electrical 26,327.00 .84 .09
Mechanical 51,540.00 1.55 .17
TOTAL $344,882.00 $9.43 $ 1.01
This article is reprinted from the August 1963 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full August 1963 issue of Mississippi Architect in a digitized format, or 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.