Ya’ll all know I’ve been fascinated the past few months with the New Deal architecture. I was recently lunching with a history professor and telling her about this new passion and she exclaimed, “I was shaped by the New Deal!” and launched into how it had affected her life and her life work.
Lewis Hall (Physics Building) remains as one of several projects of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works that benefitted the University of Mississippi community during the years of the depression and recovery. R. W. Naef was the architect for this 1939 building, constructed by the Walter L. Perry Construction Company out of Philadelphia, Mississippi (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database).
It was originally known just as “Physics Building” and in 1977, was named for Dr. Arthur Beverly Lewis, a physics professor from 1939-1969 (olemiss.edu/depts/physics_and_astronomy/history/). Classes are still held in the building–which resembles several other campus buildings constructed during that time. A research wing was added in 1995 on the rear of the southwest corner. The building is currently undergoing renovation.