MissPres Architectural Word of the Week: Pilaster

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’s word is a classical architecture staple, and there are lots of examples in the MDAH Historic Resources Database. It was hard to limit the number of examples but the ones I picked were some of my favorites.

This week’s word is brought to you by the letter P for “Pilaster” as defined by Lester Walker’s American Homes (which now has a cool companion film to the book! Click the link to check it out.)

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Pilaster: (pi-ˈlas-tər ) A flat vertical support usually used as decoration.

Do you have a favorite Mississippi building with Pilasters? If so please share it with us! Be on the look out this week for Pilaster(s) and all our past MissPres AWotW.

Categories: Banks, Books, Brookhaven, Canton, Cool Old Places, Courthouses, Historic Preservation, Jackson, Post Offices, Vicksburg, Yazoo City

7 replies

  1. Standard Life Building pilasters and all the eye treats in between them – gorgeous!


    • Aren’t those great Pilasters? I had never really thought of an Art Deco building as having Pilasters but I learned through the American Homes definition that they don’t always have a columns capital and base on them. Some of the other definitions I thought of using did not seem as broad, and at the same time didn’t seem as descriptive.


  2. I can’t help it – the Melrose mansion in Natchez (with which I am intimately acquainted) has lovely proportioned pilasters on the stuccoed portion of the front portico behind the big columns, and also has interior pilasters that punctuate the walls of the grand hall downstairs.


  3. Here are pictures of pilasters on Belmont (1857), Mount Holly (ca. 1858) and Lakeport (1859)–all here in the MS & AR Delta.




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