Name This Place 12.1.3

Our final photo for today.



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11 replies

  1. Homewood, Natchez, burned 1940. Antebellum home of Wm. S. Balfour

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  2. Homewood Plantation, Natchez.

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  3. Designed by Scottish architect James Hardie

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  4. One of my favorites. Partly for the story of the crazy woman who wouldn’t let the fire trucks in to battle the blaze.

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  5. Documented in HABS – with photographs and drawings.

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  6. didn ‘t turn on the laptop til after the photo was ‘solved’, but here is more info. one of the largest of the natchez–and mississippi–ante-bellum greek revival houses. interesting plan: center hall entered from doorways behind the ionic-columned portico–two rectangular rooms to either side; then, side halls on each side which lead to the cast-iron porches; then, rectangular rooms at the back, flanking the stairhall, which is an extension of the front hall; and, finally, a third room on each side, smaller than the other two, which extends the house to three rooms and a side hall in length; the rear rooms were entered ‘from the inside’ via a u-shaped back gallery, which was two storied–and, louvred— elegant interior details, as one would expect, but, since we don’t have many interior views, what we do have shows that those details were n’t as elaborate as those of stanton hall, a contemporary house,.

    nearby lansdowne has similar details, was presumably also built by hardie for members of the same family(hunts, marshalls,balfours and extended relations), and ‘supposedly’, was to originally be two stories, so, it might have looked very similar; lansdowne survives, in the modern descendants of that family.

    the ‘story’ of the ownership of mr and mrs kingsley swan, their ‘restoration’ of the house, and the destructive fire is entertainingly told by harnett t kane in book his book ‘natchez on the mississihuppi’; i have often wanted to go back and compare newspaper clippings and ‘real life’ stories to what he wrote, since he frequently embellished facts,

    i believe our friend james butters supplied the habs photos, of which this is one; don’t recall who did the habs plans, but thank goodness the house was so documented, otherwise, looking at the exterior from the angle of the above photo, while one would logically guess that there were three rooms and a side hall to either side of a center hall, one wouldn’t necessarily know the location of the stairs(and, there was a secondary stair from the back gallery up to the second floor), that the final rooms on each side were smaller than the others,nor the unusual u shaped superimposed double galleries at the back.

    the laub family of ‘the burn’, natchez, acquired the property after the fire, and then it came to a laub daughter, who became mrs j wesley cooper; the coopers remodeled one of the surviving service buildings into a modern home, mr cooper was a photographer and historian, and i am happy to have counted the coopers as friends, staying there with then on several occasions,

    there are a few awkward details, architecturally, i think–the main doors ‘suffer’ from the fact that they are not top-lighted–this would have looked better on the outside and giving more light to the inside. the inkpot cupola on top of the monitor is quirky, to say the least, the large attic was lighted by the monitor windows and, then, a rather amazing tightly curled staircase rises to the ‘real’ cupola–we know these facts from the habs photos. lansdowne has the same monitor roof, but no ‘final cupola’. some elaborate victorian furniture has come on the marketplace over the years with ‘homewood’ provenance, and the ‘gradeur’ of those items is in keeping with the ‘grandeur’ of the house–but, stylistically, the furniture is ‘of its late 1850s era’–rococo revival, but the house is anachronistic–the greek revival style was passe along the east coast by that time—‘annandale'(gone) madison county and ‘ammadelle’, oxford, and the gothic revival houses scattered around the state, of the same date, were more stylistically up to date for the same time period,

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    • That is a great overview of Homewood. You have not left much information about Homewood for others to enter in and get points for, so you have grasped how Name This Place is played.

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  7. Ed Polk Douglas, thank you for a wealth of details on Homewood. I’m boxing up books for a move across Greenwood, and I have two copies of your Claiborne County survey. I can’t bring myself to give up either copy, as this was one of the first books to inspire my love of old houses. Please keep adding details on these posts!

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  8. friends–i was madly typing ‘to beat’ the quickly waning power on my laptop when i wrote the above–y’all know that ‘i know better’ re spelling and punctuation, i suspect.

    re homewood’s interior, i forgot to mention that the two front rooms at homewood were ‘connected’ to the front hall by pocket doors—a fashion that became much more popular later in the 19th century as interior heating became more reliable—many of those ‘classic-colonial'(george f barber’s name for the style) houses of the late 19th/early 20th centuries–such as the house in hattiesburg built by my great-grandfather abner polk ca 1906–had a first floor plan that connected all the main rooms by pocket doors— in the ante-bellum period, pocket doors usually connected rooms ‘ensuite’–as in the case of ‘rosalie’ and ‘stanton hall’ not across a hall–though, in natchez, there were all sorts of variations, and, in some of the smaller ante-bellum houses, sliding doors connected halls to rooms for the ‘extra effect’ if one couldn’t do an ‘ensuite’ arrangement….

    thank you so much for your compliments, sec040121, on my claiborne county book. many people were involved in that effort, so i am happy to acknowledge their help. i did the research for the book in the summer of 1972 but it seems ‘like only yesterday’. when w white said ‘lost ms bldgs’ for this contest, i immediately thought of the section of those (only) in claiborne county in the first part of the book, with old photos of existing photos scattered throughout the rest of the book. it is sad to think of all the lost buildings from the ‘prosperous ante-bellum years’ in those counties that were settled in mississippi pre 1860—- not only the ‘big houses’ , churches, and commercial stuctures, but the smaller houses, farmstead buildings, and those of the enslaved residents..

    but, to return to homewood, it seems to be one of the best recorded houses in natchez, if not in mississippi, it appears in a few private collections from the late 19th century, often appears in post cards from the early 20th century until its destruction,(in comparison to ‘stanton hall’, which we have mentioned in a previous mp post) and, yes, there are photos of the house after the fire, wesley cooper frequently told me that he was sorry that the ruins had been destroyed ‘before his time’, since, he would have attempted to rebuild the main house—-i have done many sketches of homewood variations over the course of my life— let’s see, russia has a strong heritage of neoclassicism–could i find a russian billionaire who would want to recreate one of my designs for a (for them) small country house? something to think about!

    and, tomorrow’s quiz? don’t know that i will be around much to ‘enter’, but, this has certainly been fun today. thanks, w white…..

    ..

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