Industrial Mississippi: Johns-Manville, Natchez

The Johns-Manville plant operated in Natchez from 1947 to 2002. I came across this article when it first opened.

Johns-Manville Sets Date For Completion

Natchez Plant To Cost $5,000,000

Natchez, April 12–Construction of the large Johns-Manville unsulating board plant at Natchez, estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $5,00,000, is well underway and is expected by company engineers to be completed in March, 1948.

When complete, the plant will employ from 400 to 600 people and will provide a payroll estimated at more than $750,000 annually.

The new plant is modeled after a similar one built by Johns-Manville in Jarrett, Virginia, in 1938. The first unit to be constructed will be fire-proof, monitor-type transite and steel building with 300,000 square feet of floor space. Transite is a Johns-Manville product made from asbestos and cement.

When capacity operation is reached in the new plant, it is expected that its annual production will be approximately 200,000,000 square feet of insulating board. Raw material will consist largely of pulpwood processed on the spot from short leaf pine and hardwoods.

The insulating board manufactured by Johns-Manville is used by building contractors for decorative interior walls and ceilings of both new and existing houses and buildings. Coated with asphalt it provide a water-tight and wind-tight sheathing material, and can also be used as an insulating lath to which plaster can be applied.

Clarion-Ledger, April 13, 1947

According to an article in the Natchez Democrat, the Johns-Manville plant, by then producing roofing materials, closed in 2002 and has sat vacant ever since. The 183-acre parcel was bought by an Illinois company in 2016, and it was thought then that the plant would be torn down. I’m not sure whether that has proceeded.

The large structure sits/sat at 508 Liberty Road near the Natchez Trace.



Categories: Architectural Research, Demolition/Abandonment, Industrial, Natchez

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6 replies

  1. Industrial sites are interesting for a variety of reasons. Wonder what the reason was for the way the roof was constructed?

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    • Is your question about the roof construction relating to the roof form or the roof materials?

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      • The form–which Patricia answered below. As I was looking at it on the map from a closer perspective, it is very distinctive. I think I recall something about that type of roof in an earlier post about an industrial site.

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        • The glass faces north, giving a more even light while avoiding heat gain from direct sunlight exposure. I was curious about the comparison to the Jarrett, VA plant. They use monitor roofs, so the similarities must have been with the construction material technique. You might recognise the address of the Jarrett plant:116 S Allen Rd, Jarrett VA

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    • From what is shown in the old photo, it looks like a saw-tooth roof, The glass on the vertical side let in more daylight.The same type roof was used in auto plants.

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