Mississippi Architect, June 1964: Gilfoy School of Nursing

The featured building in Mississippi Architect’s June 1964 issue was the Gilfoy Nursing School at Baptist Hospital in Jackson. In last week’s post about the endangered Rexall Drug Store on North State Street across from Baptist, I noted that the Overstreet firm, which designed the drug store, also designed a number of buildings and additions at Baptist Hospital proper. The Gilfoy Nursing School was one of those, perhaps the last work the firm did at the hospital, since I believe Overstreet was semi-retired by the mid-1960s.

I remember this building quite well, as it was prominently placed at the corner of Fortification and N. State and as you can see in the photograph, it had a distinctive auditorium/lecture hall section that drew the eye of passersby. Only very late in the building’s career did I notice that the building “underneath” the auditorium was much older than the rest of the construction, and as the article below notes, this was in fact a renovated older dormitory. Unfortunately, the building was demolished before I started looking at 1960s stuff, maybe in 2004 or 2005 (my memory is fuzzy on this), so I don’t have any better pictures than the one from the article. I can’t say I would have fought to save the building, but it did define the Fortification corner better than the parking lot that has taken its place. It’s interesting to read here that future planning involved an entrance onto Fortification, rather than the N. State emphasis that the hospital took in its later expansion.


Overstreet, Ware, Ware & Lewis
Architects – Engineers
Jackson, Miss.

THE Gilfoy School of Nursing has been completed as Phase I of a current long-range expansion program by the Mississippi Baptist Hospital, Jackson, Miss. The design criteria required the use of an existing reinforced concrete frame dormitory as an integral part of the solution. The entire complex was to be so situated that parking would be provided for 40 automobiles with vehicular access through the site. Sufficient building area was to be reserved for future construction fronting on Fortification Street.

The building criteria called for a school to accommodate 200 nurses, providing the following facilities:

1. 100- 2 occupant bedrooms with 1 bath serving 2 rooms or 4 girls.

2. Small clinical facilities for dormitory.

3. Study lounge each floor of dormitory.

4. Trunk storage and domestic laundry facilities.

5. Date lounge and living room which could be combined for large function.

6. House mother and assistant house mother quarters.

7. A lecture hall to seat 120 people that could be divided into 2 rooms to seat 60 people each. The lecture hall to be so located that it could be used for public functions as well a a part of the school.

8. 4 classrooms, 2 laboratories, and instructors’ offices.

9. Library available to dormitory without access to academic area.

The solution consisted of converting the existing dormitory into an academic building and connecting this area to the new dormitory with an administrative wing. The configuration of the plan was developed to provide a landscaped court to be used in conjunction with the living room and date lounge area which open onto it with sliding glass walls. Future plans provide for a physical fitness building that will completely enclose the court yard area and be connected to the dormitory by a colonnade. At the present time a sun deck is provided over the main mechanical room with access to the second floor of the dormitory. The construction of the building is generally:

  • Foundation–Poured in place pile and grade beam.
  • Construction–Reinforced concrete.
  • Exterior WaIls–Porcelain enamel panel and 10 inch cavity. Exterior, face brick; interior, exposed concrete block.
  • Auditorium–Reinforced concrete.
  • Interior Partitions–Exposed concrete block, generally.
  • Finished Floors–Resilient floor covering and carpet.
  • Ceilings–Suspended acoustical tile and exposed concrete, painted.
  • Roof Covering–Built-up.
  • Windows–Aluminum single hung.
  • Heating and air conditioning–Forced circulation air with multizone air handling uuit with ventilation cycle. Hot and chilled water to coils.
  • Elevators–One.


Dormitory ………………………………..51,494 sq. ft.
Lecture Hall …………………………….. 3,982 sq. ft.
Remodeled Area ………………………8,476 sq. ft.
TOTAL ………………………………….. 63,952 sq. ft.

Construction Cost

PHASE                                                                 COST

General Construction _____________  $ 548,575.24
Mechanical Construction _____________205,416.45
Electrical Construction________________ 76,952.00
Built-In Bedroom Furniture _____________ 45,285.00
Passenger Elevator __________________ 21,416.00

Construction Cost __________________$897,644.69
Square-foot Cost ________________________ 14.04


This article is reprinted from the June 1964 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full June 1964 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.

Categories: Architectural Research, Hospitals/Medical, Jackson

1 reply

  1. It would appear that the Baptist Hospital is demolishing everything in sight. What else do they own that we might have to worry about?


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