MissPres Architectural Word of the Week: Lally Column

Time for another MissPres Architectural Word of the Week.  As we move right along through the alphabet, you can check out our past words here.  Have you been keeping an eye out for these elements like I have?  This week we feature images of the destroyed Patterson-Bradford Rexall Drug Store on State street in Jackson.   Pumping up our building vocabulary helps us better understand what made this building unique and give us the ability to articulate why it was worthy of preservation.  Our other example comes from Pascagoula and is a bit playful.  All building examples come from the MDAH HRI database, so if you want to learn more about any of our examples this database is a great place to start!

This week’s word is brought to you by the letter L for “Lally Column” as defined by William J. Hornung’s Architectural Drafting

Lally Column: (′läl·ē ′käl·əm) A vertical support for beams, made of iron pipe filled with concrete.

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While the Lally Column was patented in 1898 it really didn’t get a chance to shine until the mid-twenteth century.  I think Lally Column is a fun word to say, along with Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shells and Jerkinhead Gable so keep your eyes out for a Lally Column(s) holding up a Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shell or a Jerkinhead Gable this week and stay tuned for the next MissPres Architectural Word of the Week!

Categories: Books, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Historic Preservation, Jackson, Modernism, Pascagoula, Schools

8 replies

  1. Somebody’s gonna have to come help me untangle my tongue cause I just tried to say Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shell out loud.


  2. saw a house on Fortification with LOTS of jererkinhead gables (but no lally columns)


  3. I love lally columns. How does one know if it column is filled with concrete, or is that a given? Is there a difference in a lally column and just a big ole pole? I am going to go locate lally columns locally.


    • Good questions! I would imagine sounding on the column would be the simplest method to determine if the column is filled or not. As for the difference between a lally column and a big ole pole I would have to defer to John Lally’s letters of patent.

      “The combination with a hollow column designed to be filled with a plastic (concrete) composition, of an anchoring device embedded in the composition and extending above the top of the column where it is designed to be engaged with a superimposed structure, substantially as described.”

      I think it’s basically a metal column fiiled with concrete that has anchoring system on both ends.

      Let us know what you find locally!


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