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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hattiesburg in Forrest County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Old Hattiesburg High School

 
 
Old Hattiesburg High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
1. Old Hattiesburg High School Marker
Inscription.
Under the direction of Principal J.T. Wallace, this building was Hattiesburg's High School from 1922 to 1959. Built in 1911, the structure acquired its present form when enlarged and remodeled in 1921 to the designs of Robert E. Lee, the city's most prominent architect of the early twentieth century.
 
Erected 1998 by Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi State Historical Marker Program marker series.
 
Location. 31° 19.767′ N, 89° 17.7′ W. Marker is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in Forrest County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and College Street, on the left when traveling north on North Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hattiesburg MS 39406, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McLeod House (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans of All Wars Monument (approx. mile away); Forrest County Confederate Monument (approx. mile away); William Harris Hardy (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Federal Building
Old Hattiesburg High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
2. Old Hattiesburg High School Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Hattiesburg (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named William Harris Hardy (approx. 0.4 miles away); William Carey College (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hub City Lodge No 627 (approx. 2.7 miles away); Dixie School Log Cabin (approx. 7.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Hattiesburg.
 
Also see . . .  Fire Damages Old Hattiesburg High School. A fire gutted the front of the old Hattiesburg High School Tuesday, leaving local officials to hope the spared back portion is salvageable. Fire Chief David Webster said firefighters remained at the scene to keep the building cool and watch for any hot spots. The fire was reported about 6:05 a.m. and was brought under control about two hours later. The building, owned by the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association, was going to be used as a new home for the University of Southern Mississippi's art department. Webster says the roof of the building caved in, leaving just the frame of the four-story building intact. He said the fire began on the first floor near the south end of the structure and moved its way through the building. Some nearby residents were
Old Hattiesburg High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
3. Old Hattiesburg High School Marker
evacuated in case the fire spread. (Submitted on January 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Old Hattiesburg High School
Description
The Hattiesburg High School is a large brick building which consists of a two and one-half story rear wing which rests on a raised basement and dates from 1911 and a four and one-half story main building which dates from 1921.

The 1911 building is flat roofed and constructed of tan brick. The windows on both floors have double hung sash and are grouped in pairs. This section of the building exhibits no ornamentation.

The main building was built in 1921 from designs in the Jacobethan Style by the architect, Robert E. Lee. Constructed of red brick, the building features cast stone facings, belt courses, and cornices. All of the windows in this section have nine-over-nine double-hung sash and are grouped in pairs or triads. The building is divided into three blocks. The central block is four stories tall with a steep gable roof. The outer blocks are only three stories tall with tall parapets. Towers accent the junctures between the 1921 three story blocks and the 1911 building and between the lower,
outer blocks with the tall center section
Old Hattiesburg High School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
4. Old Hattiesburg High School and Marker
of the 1921 structure.

The center block is three bays wide. Each bay contains a triad of double-hung windows on each floor except for the ground floor center bay which features a transomed and sidelighted entrance which is protected by a segmentally-arched porch. The windows of the third and fourth floors are united by panels of cast stone. Above the cornice the center bay is crenellated. The outer bays rise into steep gables which are ornamented with cast-stone gable peaks.

The three-story wings are less elaborately decorated. They lack gables, creneilations and the paneling between the windows. The towers between the 1911 and 1921 buildings are also simply treated. However, the towers that emphasize the junctures of the three blocks
of the more recent building are highly decorated. They are each entered through a segmentally-arched, gabled porch, one of which is labeled "Girls," the other, "Boys." The windows of the towers' third and fourth floors are united by panels in the manner of the center block in addition to which they are framed by quoins. The tall parapets which crown these towers are pierced by triads of small arched windows.

The highly intact interior, features dark-stained woodwork and pressed metal ceilings.

Significance
The Old Hattiesburg High School is architecturally significant in the history of the "Hub City"
Old Hattiesburg High School -<br>East Corner<br>After Fire Damage image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
5. Old Hattiesburg High School -
East Corner
After Fire Damage
because it is the largest and most sophisticated example of the Jacobethan Style in the city and is the only known design in the style by Robert E. Lee. Lee was Forrest
County's foremost architect of the early twentieth century and is, perhaps, better known for his Neo-classical designs for Hattiesburg's 1923 City Hall, 1920 Masonic Temple, and 1907 I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 27.
He was also responsible for the designs of the 1907 Ross Building in the Chicago Commercial Style and a 1927 Mission Style school in Brooklyn, Mississippi.

Although widely used in turn-of-the-century American residential design, the Jacobethan Style made its most profound impact upon educational buildings of the period. The warm red brick walls set off by pale facings and the lively towered and gabled silhouettes which are characteristic of the style presented a "cheerful" alternative to the glacial Neo-classical and somber Collegiate Gothic Styles which were also considered appropriate for academic buildings. (Marcus
Whiffen, American Architecture Since 1780. [Cambridge: M.I.T. Press 1976], p. 177). The pervasive popularity of the Jacobethan Style is reflected in Mississippi by such widely scattered examples as the 1925 Old Central High School in Jackson (National Register 1976), the 1927 Starkville Middle School (National Register 1982) and the Old Ocean Springs High School which dates
Old Hattiesburg High School -<br>Boy's Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
6. Old Hattiesburg High School -
Boy's Entrance
from 1927. Lee's 1921 design for the Hattiesburg High School is not only older than the above examples, it also
exceeds them in its masterly-handled complex massing and the articulation and unification of its elevations accomplished through its cast stone ornamentation.

The Old Hattiesburg High School currently serves as office space for the Board of Education. It was the third school building erected on the site. The first wooden school burned in 1911 and was replaced by a two-story, tan, brick building originally covered by a mansard roof. This roof was removed in 1921 when the present Jacobethan Style building was added to the east of the 1911 structure. (Source: National Register Nomination Form, 1987.)
    — Submitted July 23, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Education
 
Old Hattiesburg High School -<br>Southwest Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 23, 2011
7. Old Hattiesburg High School -
Southwest Entrance
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,039 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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