I recently was perusing the Boston Public Library’s Tichnor Brothers Collection. This collection contains approximately 25,000 office proofs of postcards of the United States published by the Boston firm Tichnor Brothers Inc. These are touristy color postcards dated circa 1930-1945. There are 76 post cards in the Mississippi Set. One of those postcards is the image below of the Hotel Tupelo.
When I only briefly glanced at the image and didn’t read the text I assumed that the image was a c1950 image of the Pinehurst Hotel in Laurel.
While the exteriors are similar enough to put up as coincidental, the Pinehurst being much grander and has a larger middle bay. It is the interior program that leads me to believe that these buildings came from the same drafting board.
The street front areas on the first floor are given up to retail and office space. The lobby is recessed and reached by crossing a courtyard. Elevators are located in the same place, along with the dining rooms and kitchen. Both buildings were built around the same time. The Pinehurst is known to date to 1914 and the Tupelo was built sometime between the June 1914 and July 1919 Sanborn maps. One unfortunate similarity both buildings share is that they are no longer extant, with the Pinehurst being demolished in 1987 and the Tupelo in between 1972 and 1977 when the ultra far-out Bank Corp South’s One Mississippi Plaza was built.
The MDAH HRI database lists the New Orleans firm of DeBuys, Churchill & Labouisse as the architects for the Pinehurst Hotel. Is it possible they are also the authors of the Hotel Tupelo? There are many similarities but more research is needed to be certain. Any Tupelonians out there know the history of the Hotel Tupelo?