New Deal in Mississippi: Eupora High School

Eupora High School

The Eupora High School was begun in 1938 and completed in 1940, and built through the Works Progress Administration (Mississippi Department of Archives and History/Historic Resources Inventory database; What are we up to? Belinda Stewart Architects; E. L. Malvaney in Architectural Concrete, 1941; David Preziosi in National Register of Historic Places nomination form).  It was designed by Jackson architect E. L. Malvaney.  I included the front street because I liked the spirit it evoked in terms of students writing on the ground.  Sometimes, a little graffiti is a good thing.  In a great link from Belinda Stewart Architects, look at the rendering of the school.  How could anyone say of this beautiful building:

The entrance was not very attractive. (First Impressions, Mississippi State Community Action Team, October 31, 2009)

I do highly recommend they cut those trees back and let the full impact of the building show through!

The former high school is now home to the Webster County School District.  The original building held 15 classrooms, laboratories, library, and auditorium.  New roof was added in 2003 by Belinda Stewart Architects and exterior renovations in 2007 by Belinda Stewart Architects (MDAH/HRI database).  Also from the BSA website, a link to a 1941 article on the building by the architect, E. L. Malvaney provides additional detail.  Check out the whole article (which appears at the bottom of the post on the school), but here are some of my favorite explanations and descriptions:

The selection of architectural concrete was made after failure of other materials to satisfy the various requirements considered fundamental to the Eupora project.

The front portion of the building–or the bottom of the “U”–is the auditorium.

Concrete canopied porches afford shelter for entrances.

…no decorative details to keep within the funds allocated [$110,000, with $40,000 being provided by the school district].

…molded plaques with appropriate symbols. (Malvaney, E. L. (1941). School for Eupora, Mississippi. Architectural Concrete, 7(4) )

In a little known bit of trivia, the Eupora High School took #13 with 3% of the vote in the Regional polls for the 101 places in Mississippi to see before you die contest.  Frankly, I am thinking if we re-ran that poll with all the additional information available on some of the buildings, the final list might change.  I for one, would now vote for the Eupora High School.



Categories: Eupora, Historic Preservation, New Deal, Schools

11 replies

  1. I understand that the auditorium was named on honor of my Grandfather Luther F. Latham, former lawyer, judge and state senator from Webster County. He died many years before I was born. Do you know if that plaque is still in place?

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  2. I received my High School Diploma in that auditorium in 1966

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  3. My mother graduated in 1950 or 51 and then worked as the school secretary for the next year. I have all of her yearbooks stored away, so I’ll pull them out to check the year and to see if I can retrieve pictures of the school. I was glad when they renovated it and that it is now being used. I always thought of it as a silently elegant building. Great information, thank you for sharing!

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  4. This building appears to be a duplicate of the Culkin scholl in Vicksburg. Any thoughts?

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