Architectural Twins: Vicksburg’s Mystery Mission-Style Bungalows

I love driving in the southern neighborhoods of Vicksburg, along Cherry and Drummond streets especially. The early twentieth century houses are stunning–some of the highest quality in the state in my opinion.

The thing about driving a neighborhood instead of walking it is that you often miss houses on one side of the street because you’re gawking at the houses on the other side as you pass by. Last time I was down on South Drummond, around near the intersection with Mulvahill (a great street in its own right), I came to a stop in the middle of the street and had to find a place to pull over because I saw two twin houses that I had somehow missed before.

Distinctive, and possibly unique with their prominent semi-circular front porches, these houses combine the Mission style (tile roofs, smooth stucco) with a compact bungalow form. Their decorative details (mainly a tile “cornice” band in a modified Greek Key design) and finishes are so smooth and abstracted that they seem almost Art Moderne in some way too. And with those beautiful arcaded screened porches, they are definitely well-adapted to their Deep South climate.

Apart from a different color scheme for the trim (red on one, blue on the other) and a different, possibly later (?) screen door on the blue house, the two twins have aged similarly and still seem to be good friends, even sharing a driveway. Possibly this indicates they were originally in the same family. Otherwise, I know nothing about these houses–not their architect, original owner(s), why they’re twins. But maybe someone else out there knows and will share what they know with the rest of us. Until then, a little mystery’s not a bad thing.

Categories: Architectural Research, Vicksburg

11 replies

  1. Now that you have trained us to look at The Doors, one has double doors and the other has a single. Can’t wait to read the back story if someone can find out more for us.


  2. It looks like they’ve screened in the side stoop on the red one too. They seem to be mirror images of one another. I assume a spec builder might do something like this but I suspect they were built by members of the same family.


  3. The 1948 Sanborn Map shows them being on one parcel together, so who ever owned them owned them both. They don’t show up on the 1925 Sanborn Map so they were built after then. Very cool thanks for sharing!


  4. Whatever the story, I love the look!


  5. Greek Revival and Gothic Revival rule my heart as far as architecture go, but I have always LOVED these quaint “Hermanas Gemelas” for years!! When I drive by my Vicksburg favorites, I always meander past them……….would DIE to see the floor plans!!


  6. Where can I view the Sanborn maps? I have a 1890ish built home and would love to see maps of the area – Vicksburg, MS


  7. A friend shared the e mail with me! The house with blue trim was owned by my grand parents and then my parents for almost 80 years. (Our mother liked blue – the blue trim)The story is that they were built by two sisters. The floor plans are identical. I would guess that the screen door on left house is original. Note they share a drive. They also have adjoining double garages.


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