Belhaven Craftsman: N.W. Overstreet House

N.W.Overstreet c1908 from Reville 1908 MSU yearbookNoah Webster Overstreet moved back to his native Mississippi from his architectural training in Urbana, Illinois in 1912 at the age of 24 (see Thomas Rosell’s post “Young N.W. Overstreet“). Newly married to an Illinois native, he set up practice in Jackson, and when things started going well for him, he built his house in Jackson’s fashionable Belhaven neighborhood in 1916.

Overstreet’s Illinois training seems to have made an impression on the young architect, as his designs of the 1910s and 1920s show Prairie and Craftsman influences. These especially come through in his own house, which takes a four-square form more common in the Midwest. The wide eaves, exposed rafters, oversized brackets, geometrical window patterns are all hallmarks of the Craftsman style. A lingering classicism remains in the symmetrical facade. The house’s relative boxiness compares with the also-early Leavenworth-Wasson-Carroll House in Greenville (1906) and contrasts with the more flowing, horizontal compositions seen in later bungalows like those we’ve already examined in Magnolia.

N.W. Overstreet went on to become Mississippi’s most prolific architect and trained several generations of architects, but he and his family remained in this house on Gillespie Street until his death in 1973. For a full, long listing of his accomplishments, see his record in the MDAH Historic Resources Database.

Overstreet House01

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Categories: Architectural Research, Jackson

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6 replies

  1. Almost 100 years old and still looking good! Entrance is beautiful with curved arch overhang that compliments the linear arch on second story.

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  2. Love this house, and the story about it and Overstreet.

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  3. Curious brick work. Are the horizontal joints raked deeper than usual and the vertical joints are flush with the face of the brick? The blue does it a disservice, washing it all out.

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    • That appears to be the case, as seen in the last detail shot. That reminds me of another place I’ve seen that same detail, which is Robert Overstreet’s Kolb’s Cleaners in Jackson, 40 years later.

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      • Wright used a similar detail to the Robie House, and tuck-pointed the vertical joints with a red tinted mortar to help the vertical joint disappear even more. It really lends to the horizontal appearance that was desired in the prairie style. Wright certainly did not invent the technique but he did use it to great effect.

        How cool about Kolb’s. I’ve never gotten close enough to Kolb’s to notice that detail. I havent seen it as much in mid century brick, but the technique is used frequently in mid century concrete block construction, again to aid the linear appearance of ranch style buildings. In Long Beach one house uses it to great effect with scored horizontal joints every three courses of block, all other joints are scored flush.

        Looking at the Overstreet House I am wondering if the brick steps & veranda are original, or if they were originally exposed concrete?

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  4. Love, love his house!!! His, along with the house to the right of his on Gillespie Street are two of my favorites in Jackson (the Lewis house on Jefferson/Boyd streets and the gorgeous Beaux-Arts style house that is home to Barlow-Eddy-Jenkins as well).

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