Malvaney’s post at the end of March about the Historic American Engineering Record(HAER) drawings made me think about one of my favorite trivia questions. What is Mississippi’s one National Historic Engineering Landmark? A bit more obscure than just a National Register designation or even a National Historic Landmark, this program is run by the American Society of Civil Engineers. One of the goals of the program is to encourage the preservation of significant historic civil engineering works.
There are all sorts of projects that it could be, railways, roadways, bridges, earthworks, buildings. But Mississippi’s single National Historic Engineering Landmark is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station at Vicksburg.
Claim to Fame
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station was the first federal hydraulics research facility and is now the Corps’ largest engineering and scientific research facility.
From the National Historic Engineering Landmark nomination:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) was created as a result of the tragedy of the 1927 Mississippi River flood…Congress established the WES in 1929 to provide research support for the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project.
You can read the American Society of Civil Engineers write up on the Waterways Experiment Station here. The station has been documented by HAER, and part of the site has even been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The HAER documentation actually has a pretty extensive write-up on the history and work of the WES and even explains how the Mississippi River Basin model in Clinton came about as a WES project. So now you know the answer to this fun trivia question and can have fun quizzing your friends.
In addition to having some pretty cool models of various waterways around the United States, the WES also has some pretty nice Tudor Revival Style buildings as well.
For a follow-up conversation starter, which other engineering work in Mississippi might you nominate for a National Historic Engineering Landmark designation?