Architects’ Homes: Emmett J. Hull, Jackson

Nestled in the middle of Jackson’s Belhaven neighborhood is the home of Emmett J. Hull (1882-1957), an early twentieth-century architect who was part of one big building family:

Oh, and he married Marie Atkinson, who then became the more familiarly named artist Marie Hull. Here’s the bio from the MDAH artisan database:

Born in Jackson, MS, Hull was the nephew of W.S. HULL, one of Jackson’s early engineer/architects and the son of FRANCIS B. HULL, a builder and owner of one of the state’s largest contracting companies at the turn of the twentieth century.  E.J. Hull completed a special 2-year course at Cornell in 1906.  He worked briefly in New York City and moved back to Jackson to work in the office of his uncle W.S. Hull.  By about 1910, he was practicing independently.  He married Marie Atkinson in 1917–Marie Hull became a famous artist in her own right and was considered a mentor by many Mississippi artists in the 20th century. Listed in 1916 and 1922 Jackson City Directories with offices in the Daniel Building (222½ E. Capitol), and in 1927/28 Directory with office on the 2nd floor, of the Merchant Bank Building Annex. Hull participated in a traveling exhibit by the state board of development in 1930, with his entry titled “Architectural Beauty for Better Homes.” He joined the Louisiana chapter of the AIA in 1925, before becoming a charter member of the new MS chapter in 1929.  He served as Vice-President of the MS Chapter, AIA in 1931/32.  E.L. MALVANEY, his cousin, worked as draftsman in his firm, 1920-21, before joining him as a partner in 1926 as HULL & MALVANEY. He briefly contemplated moving to Florida or at least opening an office there in 1925, but that does not appear to have come to pass.  Around 1935, he apparently applied for a job with the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), but it is not known whether he attained that position.  According to his obituary, “during WWII, he served as a consultant with the U.S. Engineers at Vicksburg and in Arkansas.” He was a Christian Scientist and a member of the Jackson Kiwanis Club.

Around 1923, E.J. and Marie built this sweet Craftsman house at 825 Belhaven Street, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Hull designed scores of buildings around the state in his long career, including the Episcopal church in Yazoo City (1941), several buildings still standing at Tougaloo College, and numerous houses in Belhaven, and the Neoclassical Garner Green House at 647 N. State Street (1910). And of course Smith Robertson School’s new facade in 1929 and the Eastland Federal Courthouse, in partnership with E.L. Malvaney, 1932-1934.

His house, with its barrel-tile roof, wood casement windows, geometric column “capitals,” and minimal applied ornament, has been beautifully preserved. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!

Emmett and Marie Hull House, 825 Belhaven, Jackson (c.1923)

Categories: Architectural Research, Jackson

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