Mississippi Unbuilt: Alternative appearance for the Hotel Vicksburg

Hotel Vicksburg from Vicksburg 1931 City Directory Polk Publications

Hotel Vicksburg from Vicksburg 1931 City Directory Polk Publications

I enjoy looking at archives outside of Mississippi because it’s interesting to see what other folks collect about our state, and how we may be reflected out in the broader world.  OhioMemory.org has a small collection of Mississippiana that includes the architectural rendering below.  Apparently Youngstown Pipe of Youngstown, Ohio supplied the pipe for the Vicksburg Hotel,  but nobody supplied Youngstown Pipe with an updated elevation image to use in their advertisement.  Surely they would have known the building design changed from eight to eleven stories, because they would have had to supply that much more pipe.  According to the National Register nomination for the Hotel Vicksburg, Vicksburg’s Old Courthouse Museum has a copy of the specifications “for an Eight-story and Basement Fireproof Hotel for Vicksburg, Miss.” from architects H. L. Stevens & Co., dated Feb. 8, 1928.  I’m sure someone knows the specifics as to why during construction the hotel was enlarged from eight stories to eleven.

It must have been quite a sight back in the day to drive across the newly completed bridge over the Mississippi River and stay in such a fine hotel.  Those who built these monuments were optimistic and had hope in the future, something that nowadays seems to have been replaced by pessimism in Mississippi.  Works such as this show an optimism in a place.  To borrow a thought from an old Malvaney post “we’re [not] too poor to have beautiful places or do great things.”



Categories: Hotels, National Register, Vicksburg

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6 replies

  1. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Dec. 1, 1928, the board of directors decided the Magnolia Hotel/Hotel Vicksburg needed three additional stories at a cost of $100,000 and delaying completion until June instead of the April 1929 completion date.

    “…the addition is made at the request of lessees, who after a careful checkup of business conditions in this locality requests this addition, as they feel certain that it will be neede [sic] to accommodate the demands of the traveling public.”

    Formal opening was July 4th 1929. On an “unrelated” note, in 1930, Miss Betty Fox, 19-year-old world champion flagpole sitter, sat atop the Hotel Vicksburg flagpole from 11 a.m. Thursday to 3 p.m. Monday before her appearance at the Saenger theatre “to receive clamorous public applause” (Clarion-Leger, Feb. 14, 1930). People were reported to have gotten “sore necks from craning upward toward the summit of the new Hotel Vicksburg.” Probably those three extra floors that did it!

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  2. Have you ever done any reports on the large houses that were built on Adams and Minera Streets in Jackson. I remember a playmate in the 40s whose family was renting an apartment in one of those old houses.

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