Today and tomorrow, we’ll look at a couple of articles from the December 1963 issue of Mississippi Architect, a monthly publication undertaken by the Mississippi chapter of the AIA from March 1963 through March 1965. If you recall, the posting of the November’s article about the Fred Larue House in Jackson spurred quite a bit of debate, speculation, research, and fieldwork, and finally MissPreser John Caldwell tracked down the house in northwest Jackson, now in use by Wesley Biblical Seminary. He also found a second house on the former family compound, this one used as a retreat by a Muslim group. Talk about a surprising turn for these houses! You can check out current pictures on John’s Flickr photostream.
I wish today’s pictures of Neshoba General Hospital were in color so we could see the blue ceramic glazed brick in all its glory. I’ve never seen this building in person, but hospitals are notorious for constant renovation, so I wonder if the blue brick has survived? There must have been something about blue glazed brick for medical facilities in the 1950s and 1960s. I recall that the state health department across from UMC in Jackson had an all-blue-tile wing, and the Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg–now abandoned, sadly–really goes all out with a curved facade wall of blue tile brick.
NESHOBA County, Mississippi required an eighty-bed hospital to replace an old and inadequate building which had heen in use for thirty-five years. A ten-acre site was elected on the edge of Philadelphia, which is the county seat and the center of the county medical activity. The site is high, well-drained with a creek running along one side, and well-situated in relation to the town and to highways leading in from various parts of the county. Open country surrounds the site, giving a pleasant view of low hills, open fields and wooded areas.
The specific requirements for the building were to include emergency, surgical and obstetrical facilities; sterilizing, laboratory and X-ray facilities; kitchen, staff dining, storage and laundry facilities; administrative and waiting room areas, and a division of bedrooms allocating sixty per cent of the total bed count to semi-private rooms.
It was required to have the laboratory and X-ray departments in convenient relation to the administrative offices and waiting rooms for use by out-patients. It was desired to concentrate as many of the various departments in an efficient arrangement on one floor as was practical. This was for the purpose of utilizing hospital staff members in more than one department if necessary. It was further required to make possible the addition of more bedrooms in the future without disrupting the services of the hospital. This was done by designing the foundations, structure, elevators, mechanical and electrical services for the addition of a fifth floor identical to the third and fourth floors.
The entire structure is reinforced concrete with a gray-buff brick composing the major portion of exterior walls. At the ends of the multi-story element and on the central stair enclosure a blue ceramic glazed brick is used. Clay solar screen block is used along the windows facing east and in each stairwell.
NESHOBA COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL
CHARLES G. MITCHELL, A.I.A.
PERRY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
This article is reprinted from the December 1963 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full December 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.