New Deal in Mississippi: Madison-Ridgeland High School addition


It has been a while since we have been on the New Deal Tour for Mississippi, so I decided it was high time to get back on the road.  The Public Works Administration-funded annex to the Madison-Ridgeland High School was described as

…a rare example of the Art Deco style in Mississippi, particularly as it was applied to schools. (Susan M. Enzweiler, 1986, Historic Sites Survey, Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

The addition was connected to the earlier 1910/1922 school by a single story walkway, and was the new gymnasium. Architects N. W. Overstreet and A. H. Town began the project in 1935, and the first contract was awarded by the PWA on December 12, 1935.  Construction began April 1, 1936, and was completed December 7, 1936 (Report No. 5, Status of Completed Non-Federal Allot Projects, Region No. 3 Mississippi, Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works Projects Division, page no. 104, January 3, 1940).  Although approved for a loan/grant amount of $29,090, the total cost tallied $37,432 at completion.

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The verticality of this 2 story, buff brick structure is emphasized on the north facad [sic] by panelled, brick piers, which alternate with metal sash windows.  The east and west facades feature metal sash windows with brick slipsills and brick hood molds with mousetooth detailing. (Enzweiler, 1986)

Other details Enzweiler described include concrete canopies, “hard-edged low relief letters” with the name Madison-Ridgeland High School, stylized griffins sculpture on the front entrance, battlement-like coping, and cornice brick corbelling with a brick soldier course parapet.

Categories: Cool Old Places, Historic Preservation, New Deal, Schools


3 replies

  1. Very pretty building!


  2. I was the project architect on the renovation of this building about 20 years ago. Its a great Art Deco example.

    Liked by 1 person

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