Overstreet & Town Concrete Buildings

I present to you for your weekend perusing pleasure the following book: Architectural Concrete for Small Buildings published in 1937 by the Portland Cement Association.  The book is available to view online over on archive.org thanks to the Association for Preservation Technology and the Southeastern Architectural Archives at Tulane University.  If you like Mississippi architecture, or concrete, or just like clean Art Deco and Moderne lines then this book is for you!

Architectural Concrete for Small Buildings fig 25

This book features two poured-in-place concrete buildings that still stand in Mississippi.  These are the Jones County Jail addition in Laurel, and the Holmes County Jail in Lexington. Both structures are designed by the firm of Overstreet & Town. The book compliments the Jones County Jail addition constructed by I. C. Garber and Sons for its effective ornamental motif at each side of the front entrance, while the Holmes County Jail entry has some detail sections of the form work used to create the structures concrete piers.  This work was executed by Currie & Corley.

Architectural Concrete for Small Buildings p 27

If you’ve been around MissPres since the beginning you might remember an early series on a question and answer session N. W. Overstreet did with the Portland Cement Association at its Spring 1940 meeting held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  This interview was later published in the Portland Cement Association magazine Architectural Concrete.  If you didn’t catch that interview the first time, you can view those posts from 2009 here.

Architectural Concrete for Small Buildings also features buildings by architectural firms who have projects in Mississippi such as Diboll, Boettner and Kessels of New Orleans and M. H. Furbringer of Memphis, but the structures featured are in those firms’ respective home cities.

Let us know if you have a favorite building from the book.  I am partial to the two aforementioned Mississippi buildings, but I like the gas station examples the book highlights also, even if they are not in Mississippi :-).


Architectural Concrete for Small Buildings cover

Can’t get enough concrete? You’re in luck!

Categories: Cool Old Places, Historic Preservation, Jails, Laurel, Lexington


18 replies

  1. Wow, this looks like a good way to spend the weekend–nothing like curling up with a good iPad book! My favorite is the Holmes County jail–just because I discovered it on a side trip and photographed it for the Living New Deal Project.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. speaking of concrete buildings.

    How about info on what was Bailey Junior High.

    as Students we thought it looked like a Stalin Russian prison



  3. very interesting! thanks for this ‘discovery’!


  4. Please add Brookville High School to the list of concrete-poured buildings. I attended that school in my freshman and sophomore high school years after moving to Crawford from the Demonstration School–an Overstreet designed building– on the campus of Mississippi Southern College. The principal of Brooksville HS was Gilbert (? )St. John.. great-uncle of Hattiesburg’s Robert St. John. Principal St. John had a nervous “tick” about him, and when he got excited, he began to “squint” his eyes. Naturally, he was always known as “Squint” St. John. The St John aristocrats go way back to the early 1800s in Noxubee county.


  5. The Theodore Bilbo photo Collection log lists six photos of the Brooksville Consolidate School poured-in-place concrete structure at different stages of construction that began in 1940 and was suspended until 1942. A WPA project.
    Category IV, M-2 464;465;466;467;468;469



  6. Found this while trolling for I. C. Garber public building works and finding his masterpiece… the Mississippi Deaf and Dumb School building.
    In that Iink I found this 1909 photo of the two-story house in Laurel. It must be the earliest example of reinforced concrete buildings, and a two-story one at that.
    Still looking to find more information on the house. Not likely that the trackhoes have found it.



  7. The Rogers home on fifth Avenue Laurel. Yankee timber barons building high-dollar homes.
    The reinforced concrete may be in the basement formation, only?



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