Location Information
(for the Administration Building)
Name:Administration Building
Address:Guntown School (White) Complex
City/County:Guntown, Lee County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:1937
No. of Stories:1
Mississippi Landmark Information
Book/Vol. No.:2011009679
Located on the site of the original Guntown School (1870s), the present building was begun in 1935 as PWA Project #1007, after the condemnation of the old school. Begun to the design of Tupelo architect A.E. Hindsman, who produced plans for a U-plan Colonial Revival style building, the Guntown School was for some reason not completed until 1937. The final set of plans, according to Department of Education records, were by Overstreet & Town, and the building they designed was much more modern stylistically, especially the two entrances and the corner windows. As built, the Guntown School provided an interesting small-town counterpoint to Overstreet & Town’s school buildings in nearby Tupelo, all built after the devastating 1936 tornado and all in a bold Art Moderne and even International style.
Brief Description
Built in 1937, the administration building of Guntown School is a U-plan school of variegated brown brick on a brick foundation and topped by a hipped roof of asphalt shingles. A large square brick chimney rises at the rear of the center hyphen that connects the two wings. The building is ornamented in the Art Deco or Art Moderne style, especially on the front facade where projecting pavilions define the two primary entrances. The left entrance, originally for high school students, is planar with decorative brickwork above the recessed entrance, a circular window to the left, and to the right a cast-concrete bas relief of a Native American and the word “Education” and a tripartite window that turns into a corner window. The right entrance, for grammar school students, consists of broad sawtooth pilasters connected at the top by decorative brickwork and rising above the roofline. Windows (originally six-light awning types on the front and 9/9 sash on secondary elevations) have been replaced throughout the building and now are two-light metal-frame types with a hopper in the lower light. While not an exact fit within the original openings, the windows still retain the basic fenestration pattern of the building. Ganged windows line the side elevations, all with concrete sills. On the interior, the U-plan floor layout is intact, but ceilings have been dropped, doors have been replaced, and hall transoms are boarded. The most serious alteration is in the auditorium, located in the center hyphen, where the stage has been enclosed with a plywood wall and a glass wall further divides the large space. The stage is still intact though, needing only the removal of the partition wall to be re-opened (MDAH, 2010).
Guntown School: Mississippi Landmark Significance Report October 2010 Jennifer Baughn, MDAH