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Mississippi River Commission

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U.S. Post Office and Customs House
1888–1892, William A. Freret, Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury, and Albert Goenner; 1914 addition. 1400 Walnut St.
  • Detail
  • Interior
  • Interior stair

Befitting Vicksburg's status as Mississippi's largest city in the late nineteenth century, its massive post office and federal building is one of the state's principal examples of Romanesque Revival. In 1888, Freret hired Albert Goenner, a German immigrant who had just moved to Washington, D.C., from New York City, to design Vicksburg’s post office. Executed in fine red brickwork, the building has an irregular form, round-arched openings, and a complex roofline and tower enriched by brackets, quoins, and elaborate terra-cotta decoration. Through such federal buildings, the latest architectural styles were introduced to small-town America, along with unfamiliar building materials and technology—in this case an early use of terra-cotta in the "brownstone" or unglazed decoration in the tower base and gable ends. The post office added a Romanesque-styled south wing in 1914. Two years after the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 devastated the Delta region, the Mississippi River Commission, established by the U.S. Congress in 1879, moved its headquarters from St. Louis to this building. A new Post Office and Courthouse was completed in 1937 by C. H. Lindsley at 820 Crawford Street.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Jennifer V.O. Baughn
Coordinator: 
Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael Fazio
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Data

Timeline

  • 1888

    Built
  • 1914

    Addition

What's Nearby

Citation

Jennifer V.O. Baughn, "Mississippi River Commission", [, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MS-01-149-0002.

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