New Deal in Mississippi: Carrollton Community House

Carrollton Community House front

Carrollton’s rustic style community house was constructed of native pine logs in 1935-1936 by the Works Progress Administration.  Carroll Van West, who has documented a number of New Deal Administration works in Tennessee, indicates that the two primary architectural styles associated with depression-era buildings were the “government rustic” and PWA Moderne or WPA Moderne, depending upon which agency funded the construction.  The rustic style originated in the early park designs, using the natural resources of timber and stone, thought appropriate for a concept of “rising out of the ground.”

Superintendent of construction  was David Felts, a builder and contractor from Carrollton.  The community house was restored in 2001, and received the 2002 Heritage Award of Merit for restoration (Mississippi Heritage Trust).

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Categories: Carrollton, Historic Preservation, New Deal

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8 replies

  1. Wonderful preservation! Would enjoy a peek inside :) I hope the people who attend events there appreciate the workmanship.

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  2. In a town just chock full of architectural treasures, this is a jewel. Kudos to Carrollton!

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    • The townspeople of Carrollton greatly appreciate and regularly use their Community House. We were fortunate to locate two residents during the 2001 restoration who had observed the 1936 construction. One of them (Henderson Campbell, now deceased) was a logger that recalled the cutting and peeling of the logs. He took David Felts’ position of superintendent for the 2001 project and demonstrated the ability to reconstruct the log building using the original manual methods rather than using current power equipment. A valuable experience for an urban architect!

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  3. What a cool building! I hadn’t seen a lot of rustic style outside of national parks–that’s so interesting.

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  4. Good work as usual. I wonder if the WPA Choctaw Lake development in Choctaw County just outside of Ackerman is still with us??? What of the wonderful Ackerman High School building???

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  5. Wonderful to see the old Community House restored and active. I remember when it was built. We used to give dances and all kinds of things there.

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