Jackson is the only one of the nation’s state capitals named for a President before its namesake even reached office. Andrew Jackson was still a retired general and six years away from the Presidency when the nascent town in Mississippi was named for him.
The Mississippi General Assembly had been convening in Natchez since the coming of statehood in 1817 and it was decided a state capital was required in the center of Mississippi. Emissaries dutifully rode to the exact center of the state and found a swamp. Scouting around, they inspected to the south and west and came upon LeFleur’s Bluff on the Pearl River, the trading post of French-Canadian adventurer Louis LeFleur. In 1821 the location was officially declared the permanent seat of the Mississippi government and by 1822 the town of Jackson was being laid out in an alternating pattern of commercial-residential blocks and open squares in a style advocated by Thomas Jefferson.
Jackson was a sleepy government burg in its early days, inhabited by only a couple thousand souls but an east-west railroad linked the town to the rest of the South in 1840. Several years later came a route running between Tennessee and New Orleans. These strips or iron rails made the Mississippi capital an attractive target with the coming of the Civil War and twice Union forces captured the town. So much of Jackson burned that it became known as Chimneyville since all that could be seen of the town was brick chimneys poking above the rubble.
Through all of the 19th century commerce and development in the state centered around its towns on the Mississippi River and that did not include Jackson. The city did not see its 10,000th resident until after 1900, about the time the steamboat age was wrapping up on the river. After that it was the age of the railroads and Jackson was uniquely situated to become the commercial capital of Mississippi as well as its government capital.
By 1930 Jackson had sped past Meridian as the state’s largest city and by that time there were fourteen oil derricks pumping around the city which kept money flowing through town even in the Great Depression. The money paid for the state’s best skyscrapers and Art Deco buildings. Our walking tour of the capital city will bump into those and also encounter a few antebellum treasures that made it through the Civil War. But first we will start at a building from a different age, an architectural masterwork that announced to the world that Jackson was coming...
Mississippi State Capitol
bounded by Mississippi Street, High Street, President Street and West Street
Completed in 1903, this is the third home for the Mississippi government. The cost of just over $1,000,000 did not cost the state taxpayers a cent - all the monies came from back taxes owed by the Illinois Central Railroad. Architect Theodore Link, who shaped the St. Louis skyline to such a degree he earned a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, came down to Jackson to perform design duties. His Beaux Arts composition was widely admired and influenced other public buildings, most notably the Texas State Capitol. The dome soars 180 feet high and is crowned with a solid copper eagle gilded with gold leaf. On the capitol grounds are specimens of the state tree, the magnolia, and one of 53 replicas of the Liberty Bell that was shipped around the United States.
FACING THE FRONT OF THE CAPITOL ON MISSISSIPPI STREET, TURN RIGHT AND WALK OVER TO THE CORNER OF PRESIDENT STREET.
First Baptist Church
400 block of North State Street, Mississippi Street and President Street
The congregation was founded in 1838 with services rotating among the 16 members’ homes. The first Baptist meetinghouse in town was not raised until 1844. This Gothic-influenced church house at the is the third to serve the congregation; the first services were held in 1927. Since then the church has sprawled across the block and State Street, acquiring and renovating buildings for a Family Life Center and Christian Life Center.
CONTINUE ON MISSISSIPPI STREET TO STATE STREET AND TURN RIGHT.
Eudora Welty Library
300 North State Street at northeast corner of Yazoo Street
The city-county Jackson/Hinds Library System was created in 1986 and its main branch is named for celebrated Mississippi author Eudora Welty. Welty was born and educated in Jackson and won every notable award in literature from the Pulitzer Prize to two Presidential Freedom Medals of Honor. She lived and worked in Jackson for all of her 92 years before passing in 2001. The library’s previous home stands across the street, a modernist structure designed by N.W. Overstreet in 1954. The library, then segregated, gained notoriety on March 27, 1961 when nine students from Tougaloo College came in, sat down and started reading books they had plucked off the shelves. The “Tougaloo Nine” refused to leave when ordered by police and were held in jail for thirty-two hours, kicking off protests against Jim Crow segregation laws in Jackson.
Standard Oil Building
northeast corner of Amite and State streets
In the town’s early days the Eagle Hotel operated here, a fine enough establishment to host namesake Andrew Jackson in 1840. The Eagle was dismantled in 1856 and a grand five-story brick inn called the Bowman House went up in its stead. The hotel was commandeered as a Union headquarters on May 14, 1863 and burned down the following month. In 1925 while wells were being dug around the Mississippi Delta the Standard Oil Company brought a touch of elegance to the Jackson streetscape with this Italian Renaissance branch headquarters. The splendid red barrel tile roof is a recent re-do.
War Memorial Building
120 South State Street, north side of Old Capitol
The Mississippi legislature set aside $150,000 in 1938 to build a monument mostly in remembrance of the Great War, as World War I was then commonly known. The commission was given to local architect E.L. Malvaney who had served in Europe in 1918. His austere Art Deco design was completed in 1940 on the eve of America’s entry into World War II. Cast aluminum elevator doors featuring the Normandy Invasion of 1944 and battles in South Pacific islands were added later as the structure became a memorial to all Mississippi soldiers who have fallen in America’s wars.
100 South State Street
The town’s most important historical treasure, completed in 1838, escaped torching during the Civil War and served out its term as Mississippi state capitol until 1902. Architect William Nichols’ Greek Revival masterpiece, with a 94-foot high dome and raised Ionic portico now does duty as a history museum. The Ordinance of Secession was passed in this hall in an emotional meeting on January 9, 1861, by a vote of 84 to 15. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis made his last public appearance here in 1884.
Archives and History Building
100 South State Street, south side of Old Capitol
Founded in 1902, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is the second oldest such administrative body in the United States. In addition to records management and curation the department also oversees museums and historic sites. Its own building is a 2006 creation that became home after more than 20 years spent in the former New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot. The building slipped in behind the town’s Confederate monument that was unveiled by Jefferson Davis’s grandson in 1891 and paid for by the Women of Mississippi.
WALK BEHIND THE ARCHIVES AND HISTORY BUILDING AND DOWN THE SMALL HILL TO SEE...
New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot
18 Pearl Street
The New Orleans Great Northern Railroad (NOGN) was conceived to run tracks from southern Louisiana to Jackson and chartered in 1905; the line was completed in 1909. This low-slung brick station was built in 1927 at the northern terminus of the road and is one of only two souvenirs of the NOGN in Mississippi, the other being in Monticello. The line was eventually acquired by the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad. The last passengers boarded here in 1954 and the old depot was left to waste away until the State of Mississippi purchased the property in the 1980s and spruced it up for office duty.
Mississippi Merci Train Car
east side of Capitol Green
Following World War II a columnist at the Washington Post, Drew Pearson, initiated a relief drive for the war-torn countries of France and Italy. More than 700 boxcars of supplies were obtained and delivered in what became known as the American Friendship Train in 1947. France reciprocated two years later with the French Merci Train, filled with personal donations and thank-yous from all the provinces of France. There were 49 cars, one for each state and one to be shared by the District of Columbia and the Territory of Hawaii. Mississippi’s train car pulled into Jackson on February 12, 1949. The items were displayed at a farmer’s market and then dispersed, with some remaining in the permanent collection of the Department of Archives and History. After sitting exposed for half a century the Merci Train boxcar was restored and given its own platform on the Capitol Green.
RETURN TO THE FRONT OF THE OLD CAPITOL. ACROSS STATE STREET TO YOUR RIGHT IS...
northwest corner of State and Capitol streets
Although it suffered an ill-conceived modernization in the 1970s, this is Jackson’s oldest remaining commercial building, constructed around 1840 on “Lot One, Square One of North Jackson.” At the time the two-story brick building was free-standing but it came to anchor construction along the block. It takes the name of Joseph Spengler who operated one of the town’s first restaurants here before purchasing the property and opening a lodging house for visiting legislators. Spengler led two brothers out of France in 1836 to sail to America, arriving first in Vicksburg and two years later in Jackson. Spengler sold the business to his brother Hubert in 1850 and set up the town’s first large manufacturing concern, a textile mill. The building suffered some fire damage during the War of Northern Aggression but survived and remained in the Spengler family until 1904.
CROSS STATE STREET ONTO EAST CAPITOL STREET AND CONTINUE ONE BLOCK TO PRESIDENT STREET. TURN LEFT.
119 South President Street
This Mississippi Landmark was constructed in 1904 for the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The Elks were founded in New York City in 1868 in the theater district. At first they referred to themselves as the Jolly Corks. The Jackson chapter was Lodge #113 and chartered in 1889.
Central Fire Station/Chamber of Commerce
201 South President Street at southwest corner of Pearl Street
Throughout the 19th century Jackson fires were battled by volunteers, often making do with limited resources. Water was pulled from wells, ponds and cisterns. In 1904 a city ordinance was passed authorizing the purchase of equipment and buildings and hiring the first professional fire-fighting force. J.C. Waters was recruited from Atlanta to serve as the first paid fire chief. Efforts were co-ordinated from this building designed by Patrick Henry Weathers; in 1978 it was given a makeover to do duty as offices for the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.
219 South President Street at northwest corner of East Pascagoula Street
This Greek Revival home of municipal government was raised in 1846 with a price tag of $7505.58. it is still in use today. It was constructed of handmade brick, assembled by skilled slave labor and given a coat of gray stucco. By agreement the top floor was reserved for use by the town’s Masons which, legend maintains, was the reason the hall was not torched during the Civil War. A more practical explanation for its survival were the injured Union and Confederate soldiers being treated in the makeshift hospital inside.
TURN RIGHT ON PASCAGOULA STREET.
Hinds County Courthouse
407 East Pascagoula Street at southwest corner of President Street
Jackson was expected to be the center of justice for Hinds County and the town plan even had space allocated for a courthouse. But Clinton became the Hinds County seat in 1828 and Raymond got the nod the following year so the original Hinds County Courthouse stands there. The county was split into two judicial districts in 1869, bringing the courts to Jackson as well, operating out of the City Hall building across the street. The current courthouse is an Art Deco creation of Claude H. Lindsley who infused his building with classical and American Indian motifs. On the roof were placed outsized likenesses of Moses, “the giver of the Law,” and Socrates, “the interpreter of the Law,” that were sculpted by Fred M. Torry of Chicago. Costing nearly one million dollars, the five-story courthouse and jail was constructed of limestone over a granite base and given bronze entry doors; dedication took place on December 16, 1930.
TURN RIGHT ON CONGRESS STREET.
Clarion Ledger Building
201 South Congress Street at northwest corner of East Pascagoula Street
Through a slew of name changes and mergers Jackson’s newspaper can trace its roots back to 1837 and a broadsheet printed in Jasper County called The Eastern Clarion. The current incarnation began to take shape a century later in 1937 when The Clarion-Ledger, owned by Thomas and Robert Hederman, and the Jackson Daily News consolidated advertising operations. The Hedermans, who were reared in rural Scott County and wound up working as printers in Jackson in the early 1900s, preached segregation and Prohibition in The Clarion-Ledger after they acquired the paper in 1920. They purchased the Daily News in 1954. Under the guidance of Rea Hederman in the third generation of family ownership The Clarion Ledger made the journey from cheerleader for the Old South to Pulitzer Prize journalism for its investigative series on the Mississippi education system in 1983. The family sold their chain of Mississippi newspapers for $110 million in the early 1980s to the Gannett company that joined the two papers into The Clarion-Ledger in 1989. Gannett has since amped up facilities in this block. Today The Clarion-Ledger ranks as the second oldest company in the Magnolia State and is one of a handful of newspapers that pursues a statewide circulation.
TURN LEFT ON PEARL STREET.
Lampton Building/Electric Building
308 Pearl Street at northeast corner of West Street
First Capital Realty Company financed construction of this office tower in 1927 and it carried the name of Thad B. Lampton, president of the Capital National Bank and one-time State Treasurer. Go-to jackson architect Claude H. Lindsley tapped the Gothic Revival style for the ten-story skyscraper that was dressed in dark brick and decorated with terra cotta tracery, rope moldings, and belt courses. The Mississippi Power and Light Company was an early tenant and was leasing the entire space by 1948 so the name was switched to the Electric Building in 1952. In 1968 Mississippi Power and Light purchased the building and raised an addition along Pearl Street. The electric company was sensitive to the design of the original building but you can look up and see they did not pay for any more terra cotta trim. In the early 2000s the Electric Building picked up a $16.6 million makeover into mixed-use space.
TURN LEFT ON WEST STREET. TURN RIGHT ON PASCAGOULA STREET
Russell C. Davis Planetarium
201 East Pascagoula Street at Lamar Street
This city-owned science and arts center premiered in 1978 featuring a 60-foot diameter projection dome that is among the 25 largest in America. The planetarium carries the name of the mayor of Jackson at the time the project was funded.
Jackson Convention Complex
105 East Pascagoula Street
With 66% of the voters of the City of Jackson casting their approval, work began on the 330,000-square-foot convention complex in 2004. The design was provided by local architects Dale and Associates and was hosting its first conventions in 2009.
TURN RIGHT ON ROACH STREET.
Tower Building/Standard Life Building
127 South Roach Street at northwest corner of Pearl Street
Claude H. Lindsley was born in Jackson in 1894 and entered architecture without any academic or formal training. In 1914 he began working with designer X.A. Kramer and hung out his own shingle in 1923. Lindsley would be responsible for several Jackson landmarks in the 1920s before his commissions dried up during the Great Depression and he moved on to Texas and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He crafted this Art Deco tour-de-force, originally called the Tower Building, in 1929. The 22-story skyscraper steps back as it reaches its full height of 250 feet and is ribbed to emphasize its verticality. The most prominent tenant, the Standard Life Insurance Company, still has its sign on the roof but the space has been converted to luxury apartments.
TURN LEFT ON PEARL STREET. TURN RIGHT ON MILL STREET. TURN RIGHT ON WEST CAPITOL STREET.
King Edward Hotel
235 West Capitol Street at southeast corner of Mill Street
This has long been a prominent site for travelers coming to Jackson - this is the third hotel to stand here. The first was called the Confederate House and was destroyed during the Civil War. Proprietor R.O. Edwards rebuilt and re-opened as the Edwards House in 1867. New Orleans architect William T. Nolan came to town in 1923 and created this 12-story Beaux Arts hotel, rendered in beige brick. The King Edward quickly became a magnet for the town’s political movers and shakers and remained so into the 1960s when a modernized version began losing customers and closed in 1967. For 40 years the building resisted all renovation plans and remained vacant as it landed on the National Register of Historic Places and was declareda Mississippi Landmark. It took $90 million but guests are once again checking into the King Edward.
south side of 200 block of West Capitol Street
John Vincent Imbraguglio was born in Laurel, Mississippi in 1925. After a hitch in the Merchant Marine he started a jukebox business in his hometown but was soon hustling records for a New Orleans distributor. In 1955, as Johnny Vincent, he started his own label in Jackson that he called Ace, producing New Orleans-style rhythm and blues music in Mississippi. National hits such as Frankie Ford’s “Sea Cruise” and Jimmy Clanton’s “Just A Dream” were produced in Ace studios on West Capitol Street and in New Orleans. The heyday for Ace Records lasted less than a decade but the label never went away and Vincent was able to sell the Ace catalog to a British firm for a reported million pounds in 1997, three years before he died. Many of the buildings on this block have roots back in the 1800s.
201 West Capitol Street at southwest corner of Roach Street
The six-story core of this building was raised in 1913 with the top three floors being seamlessly added in 1945. The oversized ground floor retains some of its original classical styling, including keystones over the windows.
Merchants Bank and Trust /Regions Bank Building
200 East Capitol Street at northeast corner of Lamar Street
With 18 stories and a height of 254 feet to the top of the roof this Chicago Style office tower ruled the Jackson skyline for almost 50 years after it was constructed in 1929. The money men for the project were Merchants Bank & Trust that was, appropriately, at the time the largest financial institution in Mississippi. When new President Franklin Roosevelt declared a national bank holiday in 1933 Merchants Bank & Trust closed and never opened its doors again. You can see a 1950s addition along Capitol Street that skipped the ornamentation.
235 East Capitol Street
Claude H. Lindsley dropped this slice of eclectic Mediterranean style into the middle of the block in 1928. Although it was soon dwarfed by its monumental federal neighbor to the east the two-story commercial building has held its ground and the appearance of its upper floor to this day. The brick building is dressed in glazed terra cotta and capped with a blue-glazed tile roof.
U.S. Post Office and Court House
245 East Capitol Street at southwest corner of West Street
The federal government embarked on a building spree during the Great Depression as a way to stimulate the economy. Most often the architectural style of choice for these buildings was the stripped-down classicism of Art Deco, as was the case for this U.S. Post Office and Court House in 1934. Local architect E.L. Malvaney, who studied in France and reveled in the crisp, clean lines of the Modernist style, kept the decoration sparse but did provide a carved eagle over the main entrance. The post office moved out in the 1980s and trials stopped here in 2011; the building’s future duty is undecided.
St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral
305 East Capitol Street at southeast corner of West Street
St. Andrews was set up as a mission with eight Jackson congregants in 1839; four years later when the parish was admitted to the Diocese of Mississippi there were 41 members. The first St. Andrews meetinghouse was erected in 1850 but went up in flames during federal occupation in the Civil War. This is the third sanctuary for the congregation, crafted in the Gothic Revival style by local architect Patrick Henry Weathers in 1903.
Mississippi Governor’s Mansion
300 East Capitol Street between West and Congress streets
Only the Virginia Executive Mansion has been in longer continuous use as a gubernatorial residence than the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion. Funds were allocated for its construction in 1833 and Tilghman Tucker became the first governor to move his family in during 1842. English architect William Nichols provided the Greek Revival design, of which the Executive Mansion is one of the finest surviving examples in the country, although the building has survived periods of neglect and restoration. Nichols had served as state architect for North Carolina and Alabama before taking the same role in Mississippi from 1835 until 1842. General William Tecumseh Sherman celebrated the fall of Vicksburg with a dinner in the mansion in July of 1863.
Lamar Life Building
317 East Capitol Street
Fort Worth architect Wyatt C. Hedrick came to Jackson to erect the town’s first true skyscraper in 1924. The Neo-Gothic confection is adorned with pinnacles, gargoyles and balustrades and a prominent square clock tower that was the town’s highest point until 1929. The Lamar Mutual Life Insurance Company was chartered in 1906 and was profitable enough to construct its new home without selling any corporate assets or incurring any corporate debt. The company was named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II, a 19th century Mississippi politician who had served in the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate and was a member of the United States Supreme Court when he died in 1893. Lamar Life launched Mississippi’s first network radio station, WJDX, an affiliate of the National Broadcasting System, from the top floor of the Lamar Life Building in 1929. The company was sold after 82 years in 1988 for $130 million.
Mississippi Bank and Trust Building/First National Bank
329 East Capitol Street at southwest corner of Congress Street
Architect Philip S. Mayre of Atlanta designed this Neoclassical vault for the Mississippi Bank and Trust in 1924. Full-height Ionic columnsparade around the two exposed elevations and rise to an elaborate dentil block cornice.
Kennington’s Department Store/Heritage Building
401 East Capitol Street at southeast corner of Congress Street
Robert Estes Kennington was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1876 where he was orphaned at an early age and forced to leave school after four grades to go to work. He delivered sodas and worked in an uncle’s store for room and board. When his merchant uncles migrated to Mississippi Robert followed and was keeping the books in the family’s Jackson store when he was 16 years old. The next year Kennington left to manage the Yazoo operation before returning to Jackson to take over the general merchandise business on South State Street. Sensing the town’s commercial center swinging from State Street to Capitol Street he opened the Kennington Dry Goods Company here in 1906. In his store shoppers could ride the first commercial elevator in the state and no longer had to barter over every transaction - the fixed prices were listed on little tags. Kennington employees enjoyed shortened work days and later greeted customers in the first air-conditioned building in Mississippi. Kennington’s was routinely anointed the state’s “finest and largest” department store before it closed in 1970 and its building reconfigured for office workers.
400 East Capitol Street at northeast corner of Congress Street
The appearance of this 1906 building is the result of a restoration in 1988. The most famous tenant was the Emporium that was opened in 1919 by Simon Seelig Marks and was a premiere shopping destination in Jackson for half a century. Marks was born in 1888 in Meridian where his German-born father was a partner in the dry goods firm of Marks, Rothenberg Company. After graduating from Yale University in Connecticut Simon worked in the family business for ten years before launching the Emporium in Jackson. Marks was active in the Jackson business community and was the state compliance director for the National Recovery Administration during the Great Depression before he took his own life in 1935 following a long illness.
TURN LEFT ON CONGRESS STREET.
Banker’s Trust Building/Plaza Building
120 North Congress Street at southeast corner of Amite Street
Mississippi boasts three landmark Art Deco skyscrapers and this is one of them (the Tower Building seen previously and the Threefoot Building in Meridian are the other two). The 12-story tower sprung from the pen of busy Mississippi architect Noah Webster Overstreet in 1929. Overstreet was born in a small village 12 miles north of Hattiesburg called Eastibouchie. He never obtained a proper high school education but enrolled in a mechanics course at Mississippi State University and was subsequently invited to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering. By 1912 Overstreet was running his own architectural shop. Like most of his buildings Overstreet did not go overboard on the decoration and included elements to stress the structure’s verticality.
304 North Congress Street at northeast corner of Yazoo Street
Charles Betts Galloway was born in Kosciusko in 1849 and educated at the University of Mississippi. He earned a Doctorate of Divinity degree in 1882 and went to work editing the New Orleans Christian Advocate while pastoring at several Methodist churches. Galloway was appointed American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South when he was 36 years old. In Jackson Galloway answered the challenge of Confederate Major Reuben Webster Millsaps to raise a matching $50,000 to found a college and was subsequently named president of the Board of Trustees of Mlllsaps College for life. This exuberant French Second Empire structure was his Jackson residence after 1889.
Galloway United Methodist Church
305 North Congress Street at northwest corner of Yazoo Street
The Methodist church organized in Jackson in 1836 and had an active house of worship by 1839. Charles Betts Galloway first took the pulpit at First Methodist in 1873 when he was 24 years old, serving as pastor for four years. He returned in 1881, overseeing the construction of a new church which was replaced with the current sanctuary in 1913 on plans drawn by Reuben Harrison Hunt. Hunt was born the son of a merchant, planter and Civil War veteran in 1862. At the age of 20 he was in Chattanooga, Tennessee working as a builder and carpenter with the Adams Brothers architectural firm. He opened his own design firm and until 1935 was responsible for nearly every important building in Chattanooga. He also designed churches and public buildings across the South. Although he was not an architectural innovator Hunt interpreted the important design trends of the age. Here he delivered a Greek temple for the congregation which had taken Galloway’s name after his death in 1909.
TURN LEFT ON YAZOO STREET. AT THE END, AT WEST STREET, IN FRONT OF YOU IS...
Central High School
359 North West Street at southwest corner of Griffith Street
This was the site of Jackson’s first high school, erected in 1888. In 1925 architect Claude H. Lindsley provided this castle of education in the Jacobethan Revival style. The building now houses the Mississippi Department of Education.
TURN LEFT ON WEST STREET.
The Cathedral of St. Peter
123 North West Street at northwest corner of Amite Street
The first church built by Jackson’s Catholics and dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle rose in 1846 at the corner of Court and President streets. It was burned during the Civil War occupation. The present Gothic-flavored church by P.H. Weathers was dedicated on June 3, 1900. In 1908 the congregation sent its former sanctuary on logs pulled by mules to Cloister Street to serve the newly-organized Holy Ghost Parish. The stained glass windows in St. Peter are copies of works by 17th-century Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and 16th-century Italian Renaissance artist Raphael.
TURN RIGHT ON AMITE STREET.
210 Amite Street at southeast corner of lamar Street
This curtain wall office tower has ruled the Jackson skyline since its completion in 1975. Only the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi is taller in Mississippi than the 318-foot skyscraper that began life as AmSouth Plaza.
TURN RIGHT ON LAMAR STREET.
Greyhound Bus Station
Lamar Street between Griffith and Amite
Louisville architect William Arrasmith made a specialty out of designing Streamline Art Deco Greyhound bus stations like this restored gem from 1937. The first Freedom Riders arrived at this depot in 1961; eventually 329 people would be arrested in Jackson that summer for integrating public transportation facilities. By September of that year the federal government put an end to segregation on interstate bus lines.
Robert E. Lee Hotel/ Robert E. Lee Office Building
239 North Lamar Street at southwest corner of Griffith Street
Mississippi high-rise architect Claude H. Lindsley drew up the plans for this classically-influenced hotel in 1928. Construction began in great optimism but when the doors opened in 1930 the country was embarking on the Great Depression. The client was Stewart Gammill who made his money lumbering in Hattiesburg. In 1964, rather than admit blacks after the passage of the Civil Rights Bill his son, Stewart Gammill, Jr., hung a sign on the building under a Confederate battle flag stating: CLOSED IN DESPAIR. CIVIL RIGHTS BILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL. He tried to operate the hotel as a members-only club but by 1969 the tower had been sold to the state and re-opened as an office building.
TURN RIGHT ON HAMILTON STREET. TURN LEFT ON WEST STREET. TURN RIGHT ON HIGH STREET.
Carroll Gartin Justice Building
450 High Street at northeast corner of West Street
The Mississippi Supreme Court has convened here since 2011. The building was constructed on the site of its predecessor and carries the name of Carroll Gartin a Meridian native who served Mississippi as a municipal judge, a two-term mayor of Laurel and died while serving his third term as Lieutenant Governor in 1966 at the age of 53.
YOU HAVE NOW RETURNED TO THE TOUR STARTING POINT AT THE REAR OF THE STATE CAPITOL.