Go Back to Architecture School (for a day or two)

Millsaps College has announced its newest round of Community Enrichment classes, and there’s a full slate of topics of interest to MissPresers. Pick one or more and head back to school for a few days–what else do you have to do in February?

You can register online or print out the registration form and mail it in.

Pilgrimage Primer: What To Know Before You Go
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $100
Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, January 27 – February 5 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p. m.

Have you ever gone on a pilgrimage tour and felt that you were missing something? Did you come away wishing you knew more about the history of the city in general and about its architecture specifically? Did you wish that someone had told you of other sites to see while there and maybe even a good restaurant or two?

Well, wish no more. In this class, that is precisely what we will be doing. In addition to learning more about the architectural history of Natchez, Vicksburg, Columbus, and Holly Springs, we will end each class with a brief version of “The Truth Sleuth” to arm you with the knowledge of little known facts such as what a “petticoat mirror” really is or why these old houses don’t have closets. You’ll come away from this class with enough information to feel like an insider.

Belhaven: A Brief Architectural History
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Tuesday, February 10 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p. m.

Most people who live in or near Jackson, from lifetime residents to recent arrivals, are familiar with the Belhaven neighborhood. As with any place, Belhaven means different things to different people. To longtime Jacksonians it means fond memories of family and friends; of who lived where and what parties happened here or there; where they went to school or church, and so on. To more recent arrivals, Belhaven means beautiful tree lined streets and stately old houses and possibly the university located near its center.

In this class, we will examine the built environment of one of Jackson’s most revered historic neighborhoods, focusing on the rich variety of architectural styles found there. We will discuss the defining characteristics of these various styles as well as what time period these styles were most popular. We will also touch briefly on why and how Belhaven developed and how it has remained a vibrant neighborhood. We will also discuss the role that historic preservation has played in the neighborhood.

The Mississippi Architecture of Albert Hays Town
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Thursday, February 12 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p. m.

Many people who are familiar with the architect Albert Hays Town know about the elegant houses he designed in the last quarter of the 20th century based on the historic vernacular architecture of his native Louisiana. These houses were built all over Louisiana and into neighboring states including Mississippi. But did you know that he actually began his architecture career in Mississippi during the 1920s working for one of Mississippi’s greatest architects, N.W. Overstreet? And did you know that his first brush with fame as an architect came with his and Mr. Overstreet’s design for a very modern school building constructed in the 1930s?

In this class, we will look at Mr. Town’s earliest designs which reflect the modern architecture of the day. We will also examine how his involvement with the Historic American Buildings Survey during the Great Depression, where he helped to document many antebellum houses in Natchez, influenced his architectural style shown in the many houses for which he is so well known. We will end our discussion of Mr. Town’s architecture by looking at many of the great Mississippi houses he designed in the 1980s and 90s.

Mississippi Plantation Houses
Instructor: Todd Sanders
Cost: $40
Dates: Tuesday, February 17 (1 class mtg.)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p. m.

If you say “Mississippi plantation house” to most people, they immediately think of the large white columned mansions found in Natchez, Vicksburg, Columbus and other towns and cities located around the state. The fact is the houses that they are envisioning aren’t plantation houses at all but rather town houses or suburban villas, definitely not located on a plantation. While many were built as a residence for a planter, or a man who made his money from growing cotton, many more of these were built by men who made their fortunes in other pursuits. So, having said that, what do we mean when we say plantation house? Contrary to what some believe, “antebellum” does not mean “big white columns” and “plantation house” is not an architectural style.

In this class, we will be looking at those houses actually built as the main residence on a functioning plantation. Many of these were large, grand and elegantly furnished on a par with the town houses and suburban villas mentioned earlier. However, many more were much smaller, simpler structures reflecting the reality of life on a working cotton plantation. We will discuss the various vernacular architectural forms and architectural styles displayed in plantation houses across the state from the earliest years of statehood to those houses built well after the end of the Civil War and into the 20th century. In fact, some of the grandest plantation houses in Mississippi were built in the Delta in the early 1900’s.

Todd Sanders has a B.A. in history and a master’s degree in architectural history from Mississippi State University. He has worked as an architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 1999.

Researching Your Mississippi Civil War Ancestor
Instructor: Jeff Giambrone
Cost: $75
Dates: Thursdays, January 29 – February 19 (4 class mtgs.)
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

This class will cover the basics on researching the military service of Mississippians who served in the Union or Confederate armies during the Civil War. Among the topics to be covered will be locating and understanding Civil War service records, pensions, and burial information. The class will also explain how to research an ancestor’s Civil War unit to find out which battles they may have participated in, and how to research post-war participation in veteran’s organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans.

Jeff T. Giambrone is a native of Bolton, Mississippi, and has a B.A. in history from Mississippi State University and an M.A. in history from Mississippi College. He worked as a historian at the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg for 9 years, and as a historian at Communication Arts Company in Jackson for 7 years. Jeff is currently employed as a Historic Resources Specialist by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History in Jackson. He has published four books: Beneath Torn and Tattered Flags: A Regimental History of the 38th Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A, Vicksburg and the War (co-authored with Gordon Cotton), An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign & National Military Park, and Remembering Mississippi’s Confederates.

Categories: Preservation Education


1 reply

  1. Any courses online I am in Chicago,,,


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