Hattiesburg Craftsman: Corley Griffen House

On our last Missisisppi Craftsman post, Thomas Rosell noted the pipe railing on one of Biloxi’s Lameuse Street bungalows and mentioned a house in Hattiesburg “that takes use of pipe rails to an extreme.” I’m pretty sure he was referring to the Corley Griffen House at 202 Williams Street, listed on the National Register as part of the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood district. The MDAH Historic Resources Database says this house was built c.1910, but gives little other information about it.

Hattiesburg Craftsman05

I can still vividly recall when I first became introduced to this spectacular Craftsman, as I was walking on a fine Spring day through the neighborhood after having stopped to examine the Bay Street Presbyterian Church nearby. I literally stopped in my tracks I was so entranced by this almost blindingly white stuccoed house with a red-tile roof, a wraparound porch, exposed carved rafter tails, decorative purlins, geometric windows, and big fat concrete columns with Asian-inspired capitals. To top it all off, there are the second floor balconies with punched openings that are so minimal they could easily be classified as “Modern” instead of “Craftsman.” But wait, there’s more! Check out the pipe rail fence that surrounds the corner property, and notice the odd concrete pylons lining the drive off to the right of the house.

If this is truly a c.1910 design, it is an incredibly early Craftsman for Mississippi, and if anyone out there knows more about the house, its architect, or its original owner, let me know. If you’re in Hattiesburg for the MHT conference, take time to head across the tracks to pay homage to the Corley Griffen house!


Can’t get enough of Craftsman?

Categories: Architectural Research, Hattiesburg


12 replies

  1. Pipes, purlins and porches OH MY! And so many other interesting things all over this home, grounds and surroundings. More big fat columns in the yard in center photo on the bottom row of happy snaps. I clicked on it and thoroughly enjoyed looking full screen :) Wonder what those were for? They look like concrete too. Is anyone living in the home? Boo Hoo Hoo peeling paint :(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree this house is absolutely fascinating. “Punched openings” is a new word to me, but what a great evocative sound and feel to it! The columns in the yard appear to be the same or similar style as the ones on the porch so I’m wondering if the intention was some type of covered pavilion that never got completed?


  3. I was just up there last week for a meeting and photographed this house!


  4. Blinding white no kidding! That is the house I referred to. I really like pipe railings. Its a shame that so often they are tossed aside. These rails have a masculine quality that works so well with this structure, and in general I think pipe rails give a strong horizontal line.

    I’ve always wondered if the line of concrete pylons were topped with a pergola?

    As far as the date of construction the house does not exist on they March 1910 sanborn map, but does show up on the August 1915 sanborn map. Pretty early still, would love to know more.


  5. Two questions: Are the concrete pillars set wide enough for a driveway? Is there a break in the metal pipe fence for a driveway?


  6. It suddenly dawned on me as I was thinking about this house that the first house I bought was a Craftsman. It was in an older neighborhood, solidly built, yellow stucco. I was recalling the details from the house as we moved in, and the things I found later, like the wood and glass doors that had been removed from the bookshelves to the sides of the fireplace, and I had no idea of the significance. I just looked it up on Google, and yep, it screamed Craftsman at me now, and I was happy to see it has been well-preserved and looks wonderful. Makes me want to go knock on the door on my next trip!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is the old Tatum home. It is my fourteen year old granddaughter’s favorite in Hattiesburg.


  8. Mixed my houses up. This is the old Hulett home. These columns in back were a grape arbor. Legend is, he would park his vehicle under the arbor. Sorry. I do have a picture of the old Tatum home which is gorgeous. Where would I send it?


  9. This is the house my father grew up in. I’ve heard stories of the house on Williams Street all my life. Corley Griffen’s parents were in the lumber business and built the home in 1915. In 1961, my grandfather moved from Jackson and bought the home from Corley Griffen and lived there until 1969.


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