Natchez City Auditorium: Another New Deal building still benefitting Mississippi citizens

City Auditorium

Natchez’ 1938-39 auditorium was a product of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Project number 1350 in Mississippi (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Historic Resources Inventory database).  Its “broad, hexastyle pedimented Doric portico” (which is an architectural term for six columns, for all those folks out there like me who don’t automatically–or at least, not yet–know all of that already) faces Jefferson Street, and the Mississippi River is a couple of blocks to the right of the building (left of the photo orientation).  The auditorium is a 995-seat arena, and hosts a range of events.  Many local events are held in the Auditorium, as well as those on a national scale, such as by touring musicians.

City Auditorium was renovated in 1999-2000 by Carothers Construction Company, with architects Waycaster and Associates (MDAH/HRI).

Mississippi continues to benefit from the works of the New Deal, as does the US as a whole.  Want to help get Mississippi on the New Deal map?   For more information on how to contribute to the Living New Deal Project, visit the site and “How to Get Involved-Submit Site Information.”



Categories: Historic Preservation, Natchez

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5 replies

  1. Well, the grand dame is certainly showing her age, isn’t she? I think a facelift and make-over are in order!

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  2. I could never forget the Natchez Auditorium. In the fall of 1962 I was in the 114th Military Police Company, and we were activated and sent to Natchez during the ‘Chlorine Barge Crisis’. When we arrived, we bivouacked where the parking lot of the Tourist Center is now. One night there and we moved into the Auditorium, where we slept on the hardwood floors inside the Auditorium. Later we moved to the large tree covered hill directly behind the Auditorium and across from Cherokee, where we camped in large tents. We still used the auditorium facilities and the surrounding area for recreation and for a while had our kitchen set up there. We were there for the purpose of directing traffic in the event that the barge began to leak.

    At the time I was attending Mississippi College, had to withdraw and consequently lost almost an entire semester of school in my junior year, but it wasn’t so bad. I was able to catch up on my reading and fell in love with the city of Natchez and its history.

    Each day I would drive my jeep to the intersection of Junkin Drive and Woodville Road, park beside the green historic marker sign in front of a service station at the intersection, and sit for eight hours. When off duty, I would walk and drive around the city visiting the historic sights. The people of Natchez were very gracious to the military personnel there. I have been to the pilgrimage many times and often attended functions at the auditorium.

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