Hattiesburg in Forrest County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Old Hattiesburg High School
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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi State Historical Marker Program series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1922.
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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hattiesburg MS 39406, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McLeod House (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans of All Wars Monument (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Paul Methodist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Forrest County Confederate MonumentWilliam Harris Hardy (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Federal Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hattiesburg (approx. 0.4 miles away); East 6th Street USO Club (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pittman Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named William Harris Hardy (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hattiesburg.
1. Old Hattiesburg High School
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
outer blocks with the tall center section 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
The highly intact interior, features dark-stained woodwork and pressed metal ceilings.
The Old Hattiesburg High School is architecturally significant in the history of the "Hub City" 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
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 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,225 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on January 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.