I know yesterday I promised a post about the buildings that were proposed but not approved for Mississippi Landmark designation, but I’m still working on some background research about that subject, which is more complex than transparent, so instead we’ll end 2014 and begin 2015 on a happier note with two posts about Mississippi’s historic properties that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
The National Park Service oversees the National Register of Historic Places, the most popular tool nationally for recognizing historic properties. According to the NPS:
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
Nineteen of Mississippi’s historic places were listed on the National Register in 2014, way up from the nine in 2013. Some of these listings have been covered in various News Roundups throughout the year, but I always like to have a nice neat list at the end of the year to give a better overview of what’s going on around the state.
As in the past, we’re breaking our National Register of Historic Places listings for 2014 into two separate posts to avoid piling on and to allow you time to read through the summaries and ponder.
Also as in previous years, Bill Gatlin, architectural historian and National Register coordinator at MDAH, has provided the following summaries, and all photos are courtesy MDAH. I love being able to click on the link to the actual nominations, which have a wealth of information that only a few years ago was only available by going to the archives and making copies.
Humphreys County Courthouse, Belzoni, Humphreys County
The Humphreys County Courthouse, designed by Jackson architects Kramer & Lindsley and completed in 1922, is locally significant for association with Politics/Government as the seat of county government since 1922. It is also significant for association with Architecture as the finest local example of a Beaux Arts style public building. A memorial honoring Humphreys County veterans is set in the northwest corner of the lawn. The Old Humphreys County Jail and the new Humphreys County Jail are located to the south between the courthouse and the Yazoo River. The nomination was written by William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian. It was listed on January 15, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/14578.pdf.
Meridian Senior High School and Junior College, Meridian, Lauderdale County
The Meridian High School and Junior College campus occupies a dense suburban campus north of downtown Meridian. The campus grew around a large E-plan administration building, gymnasium, and stadium, all built with funding from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works and completed in 1937. The massive poured-concrete Ross A. Collins Building, a vocational school created as part of Meridian Junior College and completed in 1942, lines the east side of 24th Avenue, set apart from the main campus. The Meridian High School and Junior College is locally significant for association with Education, having served the Meridian community as a school for more than seventy-five years. In addition to its role in secondary education, the school also housed a municipal junior college from the late 1930s through the mid-1960s. The historic buildings, designed by Meridian architects P.J. Krouse and L.L. Brasfield are good local examples of the Stripped Classical and Art Moderne styles. The nomination was written by Jennifer Baughn, MDAH Chief Architectural Historian, and William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian. It was listed on May 29, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/33537.pdf.
Old Waveland Elementary School, Waveland, Hancock County
The (old) Waveland School, Waveland, Hancock County, Mississippi is locally significant association with Education. Built in 1931, the school building cost $12,000 and was “equipped with modern seating, lighting and heating and has a large well lighted auditorium with a seating capacity of two hundred.” The school was segregated serving only white students. Waveland’s African American children attended a one-room frame school on Waveland Avenue.
The building continued to operate as the Waveland Elementary School until 1969. The (old) Waveland Elementary School is locally significant a local example of a public building executed in the Tudor Revival style. The nomination was written by William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian. The building was listed on June 2, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/24933.pdf.
Starkville Colored Cemetery, Starkville, Oktibbeha County
The Starkville Colored Cemetery is a 2.0 acre rectangular site located on the north side of University Drive between downtown and Mississippi State University in Starkville, Oktibbeha County Mississippi. It is the oldest known burial ground for African Americans in Starkville. The exact date when burials in the Starkville Colored Cemetery began is not clear. The W. P. A. records suggest it was in the early post-civil war years. The cemetery is included on the 1925 Sanborn map Starkville and labeled “Cemetery (colored).” A 1939-40 city map designated it as “Negro Cemetery.” A January 11, 1940 condition report lists the name as “Odd Fellows Old Cemetery for Colored.” The Colored Cemetery has scattered marble, concrete and sandstone markers, many of which are deteriorated or broken. Mature trees and other plants are located throughout the site, but there is no pattern of planned landscape design visible. The oldest extant burial marker is dated 1882 but the period when the majority of the burials took place is unknown. The markers are varied is size, style and iconography. There are many unmarked and sunken graves. The nomination was written by Martha Lee Collins, a descendant of a family with burials in the cemetery and William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian. The cemetery was listed on June 2, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/2145888729.pdf.
Christian & Brough Building, Vicksburg, Warren County
The Christian and Brough Building, built in 1905, is located in downtown Vicksburg. The two-story brick commercial building is topped with a green clay barrel tile hip parapet with a low gable roof hidden behind it. Originally two storefronts with a transom panel and suspended awning made up the façade with the traditional recessed entry and plate glass windows over a brick bulkhead. The building is locally significant as one of the first automobile dealerships in Vicksburg and as the first Studebaker and Packard dealer. The building illustrates a transition in the history of transportation from carriage manufacturing and the need for blacksmithing to the first automobiles. Nancy Bell, Executive Director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, wrote the nomination. The building was listed on the National Register on June 2, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/27504.pdf.
Anshe Chesed Cemetery, Vicksburg, Warren County
Anshe Chesed Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi is significant for its association with Jewish settlement in Vicksburg. Jews were among the first settlers in Vicksburg and, through their participation in commercial, political, and social activities, were active in the development of Vicksburg. Anshe Chesed Cemetery is the most significant remaining resource that is associated with the Jewish heritage of Vicksburg. There are only a few historic resources, residences and commercial buildings, affiliated with Jews in Vicksburg and none of these can be used to interpret the vast influence that this population had on the development of Vicksburg. There are over 1,100 marked graves and at least forty-six unmarked graves which were “removed from the old Jewish Cemetery to the present one.'” Nancy Bell, Executive Director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, wrote the nomination. The cemetery was listed on September 10, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/33672.pdf.
Washington County Courthouse, Greenville, Washington County
The Washington County Courthouse is a two-and-one-half-story Richardsonian Romanesque style courthouse. originally constructed in 1891 and put into service in 1892. Four additions have been constructed: a one-story addition to the north (rear) facade in 1930, which also remodeled much of the original interior; a two-story addition to the north in 1950, including a second floor to the 1930 addition; a two-story addition in 1965; and, a two-story addition to the northeast comer in 1976. The Confederate Monument on the front courthouse lawn and an arboretum originally laid out soon after the original courthouse construction are contributing resources. The Courthouse is locally significant for association with Government and association with Social History related to a nationally recognized speech by Sen. LeRoy Percy objecting to the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan in Washington County. The Courthouse also is significant on a statewide basis associated with Architecture as a rare extant example of a stone Richardsonian Romanesque. William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian, wrote the nomination. The courthouse was listed on September 10, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/29587.pdf.
Lanier Junior-Senior High School, Jackson, Hinds County
Lanier Jr. – Sr. High School (Colored) is locally significant for its association with education for Blacks and as a representation of “separate but equal” during the equalization era. The original William H. Lanier High School opened on Ash Street in 1925, the first school to offer Jackson’s black students a full four-year high school program. In 1954, a Lanier High School moved to a new building featured forty-one classrooms. six science labs, space for vocational education. The school had a band room and two music rooms, a combination auditorium-gymnasium, a library, cafeteria and an audio-visual education room. In 1964, additions to the building included a new gymnasium, ten classrooms and two science labs. The industrial arts shop and library were both enlarged. As a segregated school, Lanier Jr.-Sr. High School is an artifact of the “Jim Crow” South. This history places the school in the middle of the social revolution broadly known as the Civil Rights Movement. In May 1963 hundreds of Lanier students protested in support of a sit-in at a Jackson Woolworth lunch counter. Police with dogs charged the students and according to various accounts beat them with batons.
The school building is also locally significant architecturally as a strong local example of Modernism. The two-story structure emphasizes the horizontal axis enhanced by the flat roof. The facade is asymmetrical, and the window grid forthrightly expresses the interior functions with long window walls reflecting the long classroom wings. Bettye J. Palmer, a 1963 graduate of Lanier High School, Jennifer Baughn, MDAH Chief Architectural Historian, and William Gatlin, MDAH architectural historian, wrote the nomination. The school was listed on September 10, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/23208.pdf.
H.S. and Mattie Walker House, Gulfport, Harrison County
The H. S. and Mattie M. Walker House is locally significant as a two-story example of a Queen Anne Free Classic style residence with Craftsman influences built c. 1906. It is clad in plain wood weatherboards and sits on a brick pier foundation. The roof is a truncated hip, with deep eaves, and a pedimented dormer centered in the front slope. It is lit by one-over-one windows. The most notable element of the exterior is a comer with curved windows highlights this feature, which is echoed by the curving wraparound porch. Fluted Doric columns add Classical detail to the Queen Anne form, while flattened brackets that imitate projecting joist ends under the deep eaves lend a Craftsman touch. The interior likewise displays Queen Anne Free Classic and Craftsman elements. The entrance hall or foyer itself represents a development of the Queen Anne style. The exceptionally large and prominent newel, along with the window and “roomlike” dimensions were Queen Anne attributes. The molded window and door casings with rosettes are also typically Queen Anne. Craftsman influences within the home are limited to two outstanding craftsman mantels that feature battered posts and pegged through-tenon joinery. Laura Blokker, Southeast Preservation, wrote the nomination. The house was listed on September 10, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/37444.pdf.
Gunston Hall (White Pillars), Biloxi, Harrison County
Gunston Hall in Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi, is locally significant as a rare surviving example of twentieth-century Neoclassical architecture on the Biloxi beachfront. The two-story building, constructed in 1905, the main house’s primary facade faces south and features four monumental Tuscan columns supporting a two-story portico across the full facade. The proportions and symmetry of the neoclassical style along with the unbroken entablature, which wraps the main two-story block, creates a commanding front facade. When the building became White Pillars restaurant, additions and alterations were required for the adaptive reuse. Donna Klee, architect, wrote the nomination. The building was listed on September 10, 2014.
The nomination can be viewed at https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/10571.pdf.
For previous years’ National Register summaries:
- 2009 Part 1
- 2009 Part 2
- 2010, Part 1
- 2010, Part 2
- 2011, Part 1
- 2011, Part 2
- 2012, Part 1
- 2012, Part 2
- 2013, Individual
- 2013, Historic Districts