Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Medgar Evers Home and Museum

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Institution Name: Tougaloo College
Original/Historic Place Name: Residence of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Family
Location on Campus: 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Dr., Jackson, MD 39213 (historically, Gynes St.)
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1956original construction Thompson, Winston J. Burnett, Leroy
1994renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: wood (frame); brick (facing); board and batten (original, siding); asbestos shingle (later, siding)
Roof: built-up gravel
1956-1963private residence (until shortly after Medgar Evers' assassination in 1963)
ca. 2004-present (2007)museum (the life and legacy of Medgar Wylie Evers)

Significance: architecture, culture, education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The ranch-style home of Medgar Wylie Evers sits in the Elraine subdivision, the first subdivision developed by black entrepreneurs Winston J. Thompson and Leroy Burnett. The land was purchased in 1955; shortly thereafter, the two began designing and building 850-950 square foot ranch-style homes along Guynes Street, now known as Margaret Walker Alexander Drive. The Evers home, at 2332 Guynes Street, was built in 1956. Mrs. Myrlie Evers recalls that the house was purchased at a cost of $9,500 in 1956. Records show a Warranty Deed executed between W.J. Thompson and Medgar W. Evers on April 27, 1956, and then a Deed of Trust from Evers to the Prudential Insurance Company on May 10, 1956.

Thompson and Burnett completed 36 houses in the subdivision between 1955-1957, on lots approximately 75 feet wide by 90 feet deep. Developing a subdivision for blacks in racially troubled Mississippi in the 1950's was a remarkable feat for two black entrepreneurs, to say the least, but to realise that this particular subdivision was almost completely surrounded by established white neighborhoods is even more remarkable.

The Evers home was renovated in 1994 and appears virtually as it did on June 12, 1963, when Evers was assassinated. Also in 1994, the State of Mississippi designated the Elraine subdivision as the Medgar Evers Neighborhood Historic District, the first neighborhood historic district in the city of Jackson.

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
Government Offices
Other: Medgar Evers Institute

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