New Deal in Mississippi: Macon City Hall

Macon City Hall 2Macon’s City Hall, looking remarkably like several of the red brick Colonial Revival post offices built in Mississippi during the New Deal years, was constructed 1938-1939 through Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, project #Miss 1366-F.  Architects P. J. Krouse and L. L. Brasfield of Meridian designed the building.  Krouse and Brasfield were credited with 17 school buildings, including some college/university buildings.  Their portfolio includes a public housing complex and the Lauderdale County Courthouse in Meridian, as well as one church, two jails, and this city hall.  Builder was John L. McLemore, also of Meridian.

Krouse himself is credited with many buildings in Mississippi, prior to his work with brother-in-law Brasfield.  Many of his works are listed on the National Register (Davis, 2011, The Reporter of Pearl River County).  Although the Macon City Hall is smaller in scale, and simpler in design, than some of his more well-known buildings, it demonstrates the importance of the New Deal Administration investment in infrastructure throughout the US during the Great Depression.  Many rural communities in Mississippi continue to utilize the buildings, roads, and bridges constructed during that era.

Small, one-story and well-proportioned, the principle rectangular block is in red brick, trimmed in white under a hip roof with narrow overhang and crowned with a polygonal lantern with a coffer roof, round arched vents on all sides, sitting on a square base with iron railing. The entrance is centered between six 9/9 double-hung windows having rowlock sills and a key stone accent on the soldier course lintels. The Adam inspired single doorway, with elliptical fanlight of leaded glass and sidelights, is recessed behind an attached, wooden, trabeated entryway of paired columns under a dentil molded cornice. To the west, a separate lower hip roof over a compatible wing, originally used as a fire station, now enclosed as additional office space. (E. Pauline Barrow, 2001, nomination form for Macon Historic District National Register of Historic Places)

The metal building with the front brick facade to the rear of the building was added circa 1973 (Barrow) to serve as the Municipal Court.



Categories: Historic Preservation, Macon, New Deal

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