In scouring the internet databases for unique and interesting things I ran across the New York Public Library’s George Arents Collection and its series of U.S. government and state capitol building cigarette cards. The series is interesting because this captures a time period when many states had shiny new buildings and many other states would soon follow with new capitol buildings of their own. The card collection is dated 1885-1895 so naturally Mississippi’s capitol building was then still the (Old) Capitol.
The near monochromatic lithograph print belies the building’s playful simulated stone. There was a color that did catch my eye, drawing it to a detail I might not have otherwise noticed; red & white striped awnings! While probably not original to the 1840 building, these awnings possibly date to the same time period as the card c.1890. They would have kept the west facing first floor shaded and cool from the hot afternoon sun. While the weather is beautiful now, a hot summer is right around the corner. Awnings are a traditional way of keeping the solar heat gain out of buildings. Maybe a historically appropriate awning would make your building stand out? The energy savings will definitely keep your wallet cool!