Vacation Postcards: Pinehurst Hotel, Laurel

MissPres is on vacation this week, but we’re sending postcards back from Mississippi’s past.

HOTEL PINEHURST, LAUREL, MISSISSIPPI. 150 rooms. Lobby and Coffee Shop air conditioned. Sleeping floors air cooled. Plan to visit Laurel, one of Mississippi’s most attractive cities. Beautiful parks, attractive homes and gardens, good schools, fine churches, an outstanding Art Gallery and Museum are part of Laurel’s attractions. There are more than 6,000 people on the industrial payroll. Laurel is forty miles from Camp Shelby, Miss. on direct Highway No. 11.

Categories: Hotels, Laurel

13 replies

  1. The “good ol’ days!” They just don’t build’em like this anymore. Love the roof sign! Don’t you just love “air cooled” in the list of good things about it? Sad it isn’t there anymore. Thank goodness for these postcards you are sending us so we get to see beautiful buildings that were – once upon a time. Thank you for posting them! Hope you are enjoying your vacation :) We miss you but enjoy the postcards.


  2. I agree, gstone, beautiful building, and you answered my question of “is it still here.” I enjoyed the “air cooled” as well–does that mean fans?


  3. It was the center of the city, both figuratively and literally. The movie theater, which was within the bulk of the building, was saved and the interior and the neon “Arabian” sign preserved. It’s now the home of the Laurel Little Theater.


  4. I suspect “air cooled” means evaporative coolers, which weren’t much. If I have to make a choice, I prefer air conditioning over “optional tv” in my hotel. How wonderful that at least the theater was saved.


  5. The Pinehurst was listed on the National Register in 1984, and the nomination gives some good information and even better pictures of the building:

    It was torn down in 1987, according to the MDAH Historic Resources database, and from what I have heard, there was a pitched battle in Laurel between the 1984 listing and the 1987 demolition. It certainly is a big hole in downtown Laurel.

    I love that it had both a rooftop sign and a rooftop water tank–very New York City!


    • Yes, there was a concerted effort to save it, but the owner was adamant…too expensive, etc. At one point a suggestion was made to at least leave one of the wings, but that went nowhere.


  6. Me and my buddies from our old neighborhood over near Daphne Park went into this ancient hotel in the late seventies or early eighties as kids. We entered from the rear in the lowest level and went all over the structure including exploring the elevator shaft and a multitude of rooms. I remember how large, black and greasy the old and idle elevator cable was as we climbed in above the box. We went downstairs to the main lobby area and turned the corner at the front desk (abandoned and dank and dusty) and ran headlong into a construction worker who was there to help turn the old Arabian Theater ( where I had seen many a Disney feature for a dollar a show back in the ’70s when you could stay all afternoon, and we did because that place was air-conditioned and our homes weren’t ) into the Laurel Little Theatre. He yelled at us to get out of there and we just turned and charged up the stairs, explored for another hour or two and then strolled out where we entered. That place must’ve been quite majestic in its day, but the old dingy rooms looked far worse for the wear when we were there. Then, in less than a decade, the whole place was gone. I felt a sense of loss for sure. That day in the old hotel has remained locked forever in my memory and I truly wish it had been saved. I remember seeing workers for months sitting on the site after the demolition cleaning the old, desireable bricks for a future use such as new home floors, etc. They were chiseled clean and stacked by the thousand on the site and then hauled away forever.


    • Yes, I imagine there are many of those bricks all over the area. They were a type I’ve been told were specific to laurel..a pinky/grey/clay color…and were usually set in a rough mix mortar that contained pebbles. There are many other buildings left in Laurel that used this brick.


  7. How wasteful of the owner not to preserve the building. It would be quite something today if it had been saved.


  8. Yes. I think having it totally preserved and in tact would’ve been an immeasurable asset to downtown Laurel. So many creative and beneficial things could have been done with it to serve the community at large to this day….oh well, such is life I guess.


  9. We live in Denham Springs, LA, about 15 miles (1 hour) from Baton Rouge, LA… I am a native of Laurel, MS, graduated from West Jones in 1970 and moved to Baton Rouge, LA in Jan 1971 to start working for Allied Chemical – located in Geismar, LA as a Laboratory Technician… I worked 44 years at the same location, but we were sold several times; Allied Chemical to Arcadian Corporation – 1984, Arcadian Corporation to Arcadian Corporation #2 – 1989 and in 1998 Arcadian Corporation #2 to Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Canada, The Worlds Largest Fertilizer Producer and Specialty Chemicals – Our location in Geismar was PCS Nitrogen… which I left in Apr 2013 due to Spinal Surgery, was on Short Term Disability for 6 months, Long Term Disability until I retired on Dec 1, 2015… We need to try out the Movie Tavern in the near future… I remember going to the Arabian located adjacent to the Pinehurst Hotel.


  10. I remember going to eat there on Sundays after church— they had the BEST fried chicken — that was in the early 50’s —- anybody else remember that???


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