Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Holmes Hall

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Institution Name: Tougaloo College
Original/Historic Place Name: Holmes Hall
Location on Campus: historic core of campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1926original construction Hull, Emmett J.
1960sopen arched arcades filled with brick to make offices Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick and concrete
Walls: wood (frame); brick (facing)
Roof: fiberglass shingle; built-up bituminous material
ca. 1926auditorium
ca. 1926gymnasium
ca. 1926library
ca. 1926-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 1998-2002chapel (temporary, while Woodworth was being restored)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices

Significance: culture, education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterTougaloo College (1998)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Attempting to circumvent the problem of Mississippi's shifting soil by designing a brick structure of one story with low walls and a strong foundation, Emmett J. Hull took advantage of the sloping site and blessed Holmes Hall with basement rooms on the north wings. The building's "H" design, with open corridors and two courtyards, was considered economical for construction, efficient for school purposes, and architecturally appropriate for the open southern country. The original plan for auditorium space in the central position was expanded midway during construction to include accomodation for physical education classes and socials. The change, which meant that the auditorium floor had to be level, affected performance acoustics so negatively that the Paul Robeson Dramatic Club continued to use Ballard Hall's limited 113 seat space for performances.

In the 1960s, the open arched arcades of Holmes Hall were filled in with brick to create office spaces. The arches along the front arcade have been filled with aluminum storefronts also.

Although several remodeling efforts have provided upgrades to the building over the last several years, several deferred maintenance issues, including a new roof over the central auditorium and masonry repairs, have yet to be addressed. An interior remodelling of the auditorium is also warranted.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Campbell, Clarice T., and Oscar Allan Rogers, Jr. Mississippi: The View from Tougaloo. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1979 and 2002.

Campus Planning and Development Assessment [Tougaloo College]. National Park Service report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1989.

Dixon, John Morris. "How to Grow a Campus: 1. Tougaloo College." Architectural Forum 124 (April 1966): 56-60.

Historical Sketch of Tougaloo University: Tougaloo, Mississippi. [s.l.:] American Missionary Association, 1909.

Mayo, Amory Dwight. Industrial Education in the South. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1888.

Mississippi State Building Commission. "Physical Facilities, Institutions of Higher Learning, State of Mississippi, Public and Private Institutions." Report. 1967-1968.

"Negro." WPA Records, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS.

"Tougaloo College." WPA Records, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS.

U.S. Congress. House Committee on Natural Resources. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Building Restoration and Preservation Act: Report Together with Dissenting Views (To Accompany H.R. 2921) (Including Cost Estimate of the Congressional Budget Office.) [Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1993.]

Wise, Deborah G. Tougaloo College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1998.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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