This post is a follow up to a series begun a few weeks back that stimulated quite a bit of conversation about the appreciation of buildings from the late 1960s and early 1970s that are now reaching the golden fifty-year mark when they can be considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings in today’s post are less than seven years from reaching their fiftieth birthday. Below is a brief Delta Democrat Times article that highlights a Delta design that received recognition from the Mississippi Chapter of AIA at their annual convention in 1975.
Unlike our first 1970’s awards post, today’s building is still standing. The Delta Mental Health Center is just one of the buildings recognized at the 1975 Mississippi AIA conference. I’ve yet to identify any other buildings that received an award at the conference.
The Greenville architectural firm, Virden & Roberson, Ltd., received the 1975 Jones Woodward Memorial Award for their design of the Delta Community Mental Health Center, 1654 E. Union, Greenville, and in Cleveland. The award–given for the best architectural use of pre-cast concrete for a building in Mississippi–was established in 1973 to honor the late Jones Woodward, a salesman, designer and consultant for Jackson Stone Co.
–Delta Democrat Times November 21, 1975
I also came across an earlier article that shed some more light on the building and the award selection process.
A Greenville building and its Greenville architects have won the coveted annual Jones Woodward Award in statewide competition sponsored by the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. (AIA)
The Greenville firm of Virden & Roberson was awarded the third annual Jones Woodward Award for outstanding architectural use of pre-cast concrete for its design of the Delta Mental Health Center in Greenville, according to William V. Lack, AIA, of Jackson, 1975 Honor Awards Committee chairman for the state chapter.
Dean William G. McMinn of the School of Architecture of Mississippi State University made the award at the state architects convention in Biloxi after a blue ribbon panel of out-of-state architects selected design winners from among the 25 state structures entered in the competition.
The Delta Mental Health Center is located near the Delta Medical Center in Greenville.
Judges who selected the building for the award were James E. Ellison, AIA, administrator of Education and Research of the American Institute of Architects; Sam Hurst, FAIA, former dean of the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California; Harlan McClure, FAIA, dean of the College of Architecture of Clemson University and Alan Taniguchi, FAIA, dean of the School of Architecture of Rice University.
–Delta Democrat Times August 10, 1975
In early June, this year’s MHT historic preservation conference will feature a blue ribbon expert on buildings of this era and what their preservation might mean. Last week’s post about the MHT conference mentioned that Liz Waytkus, Executive Director of Docomomo US, will be a special guest at the conference. If you’re unfamiliar with Docomomo, they are an international organization interested in the Documentation, and Conservation of the Modern Movement. Docomomo US has been addressing the fact that iconic buildings and sites that were completed outside of the chronological period that most associated with the Modern Movement can be places that have expanded the tenets of the Modern Movement in meaningful and provocative ways. Several places, such as the AT&T Building in Manhattan and the Thompson Center in Chicago, have become endangered and Docomomo has engaged their membership about whether or not to advocate for these buildings preservation. Hopefully, Ms. Waytkus can share with conference-goers some insight to how to advocate for soon-to-be-historic places.
Categories: Architectural Research, Cool Old Places, Delta, Greenville, Historic Preservation, Hospitals/Medical, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Modernism, Ocean Springs, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Recent Past, Renovation Projects