E.L. Malvaney

malvaneyedgarlucian-small1I was born in Jackson, MS, and studied at Mississippi A & M University (now Mississippi State Univ.) for only one year (1917), before joining the U.S. Army (American Expeditionary Force) and going over to France to fight during WWI.  France was such an amazing place for this small-town boy–after the war was over, I stayed there studying architecture in Le Mans and Paris. I finally came back home to Jackson in 1919.  I was lucky in finding work as a draftsman and superintendent for several of Jackson’s new professional trained architects through the 1920s.  I also got the opportunity to work with my older cousin, Emmett J. Hull, who was part of a family of architects and builders that went way back in Jackson.  I worked with the famous St. Louis architect Theodore Link when he was designing public buildings around the state in the early 1920s, and later for the famous skyscraper architect in Jackson, C.H. Lindsley.  I burned the midnight oil to get my degree from Washington University in St. Louis for “Special Arch.”  in 1922, based mostly on my studies in France. In 1926, I joined with my cousin Emmett in a partnership called Hull & Malvaney. In 1931, I finally went out on my own and started my own practice. I was very successful in this for many years, and I loved the work, designing buildings all over Mississippi.  I was a Modernist from the start of my private practice–clean lines, an emphasis on proportion,space and light, but still some sense of classicism.  I died in 1970 after a long and full life, but I still hang around looking after my hundreds of buildings.

dsc_0032One of my favorite buildings, which I worked on in 1939 through 1940, is the War Memorial Building, standing proudly right next to an icon of our state the Old Capitol building. I was the principal architect on this project, which memorialized the sacrifices of our soldiers in what was at that time still known as the The Great War. “Peace shall come to those who strive for peace” serves as a literary entablature on the front. Walking through the colonnade, you enter a quiet courtyard where a Tomb representing all the lost Mississippi soldiers through the many wars this country has fought rests in the center. In contrast to the restful and austere exterior, the interior is an Art Deco delight.  I really threw everything in there–make sure to check it out next time you’re in Jackson. The Veterans of Foreign Wars have their Mississippi headquarters here and maintain a museum, along with a 425-seat auditorium.

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