The New Deal in Mississippi: Hedleston, Mayes, and Garland Halls

Hedleston Hall

Along with three other new dormitories, Garland, Hedleston, and Mayes Halls were dedicated October 21-22, 1938 (Gerald W. Walton. 2008. The University of Mississippi: A Pictorial History. Nashville, TN: The Booksmith Group).  Built with funds from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Mississippi Project 1216-DS was another of the New Deal Administration benefits to the state of Mississippi, and specifically to the University of Mississippi.  This series of Georgian Revival buildings was designed by R. W. Naef and built by W. J. McGee and Son (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database).

Mayes Hall

The buildings served as men’s dormitories, but are currently not in use.  In 2006, they were proposed to house the first Residential College (The Collegiate Way), although instead, two new buildings were erected.  The buildings are back in the news, however, and the construction bid was released in March 2013, for the renovation and restoration of the three building complex.  They will become part of the School of Applied Sciences, and are proposed to house the departments of Communication Disorders, Legal Studies, and Social Work.


The buildings are part of the central core of campus, which is being converted to pedestrian/bicycle/transit use only in a series of phased developments.  They are located along the axis that runs from the Lyceum Circle to Magnolia Grove, facing Magnolia Grove.  The 2009 Master Plan identified the buildings as “contributing buildings” due to a “considerable legacy of architecturally significant buildings” (p. 35).  As defined by The Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties With Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings, the buildings are:

…essential to the historic character and image of a historic context. (p. 35)

I sure hope they keep those metal windows!

Categories: Historic Preservation, New Deal, Oxford, Renovation Projects, Universities/Colleges

10 replies

  1. an air conditioner unit in my old window !!!!!!! never thought i would live to see that !!!!!!


  2. Am so happy to see their retention, and renovation WITHOUT window units. Deaton Hall at Ole Miss wasn’t air conditioned at all when I was there (except maybe for the house mother’s apartment!).


  3. I lived in Heddelston 313 and 3 different rooms in Garland Hall from ’77- ’80. I also lived in the dorm mother’s apt. in Garland one summer with 2 other friends. Just looking at the pictures brings back so many wonderful memories, especially of friends I met at Ole Miss and with whom I am still in contact. We didn’t have ac units in those beautiful casement windows, but I don’t remember it being a problem. We had sinks in our rooms, which was really great. We also had old, black, rotary-dial phones that weighed about 10 lbs, and we used to stretch the cords out in the hall when we left our rooms, so if our phone rang, anyone could answer it and leave a message on our white boards on our doors. I wish I could go back and see the rooms before they renovate the buildings. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. If those walls could talk…


  4. I came to this page as a result of doing some research in relation to some old family documents. In letters between my dad and his brother, it seems that my uncle lived in Garland Hall in early 1943 when the Army used parts of the Ole Miss campus during WWII. He was there being trained in the ways of being an Army Air Corps clerk. He reports that his room on the third floor had parquet flooring, single wood beds, two large closets, Kohler sinks with chrome fixtures and tile floors in the bathroom.


  5. I lived in Mayes Hall by freshman year , 1978. I remember it being so hot and walking down the hall to shower. But, I let a few people along the way who have remained friends after all these years. Still love Ole Miss.


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