Monday, February 27, 2017

Walking Tour of Vicksburg Historic District -- Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts featuring a walking photo shoot tour I did three years ago of some of the houses and buildings located in one of Vicksburg's most picturesque historic districts -- the South Cherry Street Historic District -- near downtown Vicksburg.

I chose a hot, muggy day in early September of 2014, and it didn’t take long before I felt the effects of our lingering Mississippi “dog days of summer" temperatures and humidity.  Nevertheless, I braved the elements and was pleased with how much territory I covered that morning. 

Just to give you an idea of the "territory," I found the following information on the National Park Service's "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form," which was submitted on the district on September 29, 2003:

"The South Cherry Street Historic District covers approximately 125 acres, and includes 234 buildings and two structures (a brick street and a bridge).  

The district is roughly rectangular and its terrain is generally flat with a few rises. Concrete sidewalks line all the streets in the district and oak trees were planted on the right-of-way in the early 1900s, many of which survive today.

The district is composed almost entirely of residential buildings, with commercial buildings accounting for only five percent (13 buildings). The two structures included in the district are the Cherry Street Bridge and the brick paving of Baum Street. The Cherry Street Bridge was constructed of concrete in 1911, in order to provide vehicular and pedestrian access over the railroad tracks.

Streets in the entire district were paved in brick beginning about 1910, but Baum Street is the only street that has not been covered with asphalt.
Baum Street


The majority of the buildings in the district were constructed during Vicksburg's boom period (1880-1910) and total 137. There are 15 buildings in the district built before 1880, and 49 built in the twenty years (1910-1930) following the boom period. Only five buildings were constructed between 1931 and 1953, and 28 (including eight garages and a drive-through bank structure) were built after the period of significance.

Represented in the district are intact examples of nearly every architectural style found in Vicksburg. These include: Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Shingle, Romanesque Revival, Colonial Revival, Neoclassical, Tudor Gothic, Tudor Revival, Mission Revival Spanish Revival, Italian Renaissance, Mediterranean, Prairie, American Foursquare, Craftsman Bungalow, Traditional Commercial, and Ranch. Also represented in the district are classic Vicksburg architectural types including the two-bay shotgun, the three, four and five-bay galleried cottages, and the three-bay galleried townhouse."*

At the turn of the century, Cherry Street was lined with impressive residences and, according to “In and About Vicksburg, 1890,” it was “the most fashionable residential street in town.”  Today, Cherry Street is still lined with several impressive residences, but it is also one of the busiest streets in town.  I wonder how many times a week the residents of Vicksburg drive down Cherry Street and pass by these old houses without really seeing them? Some of them sit on hills in plain view … others are completely hidden behind fences and trees and shrubbery. The best way to see the houses is by walking, but, even then, I couldn’t get close enough to some of them (without trespassing) to get pictures of the entire houses.

I began my walking tour in the 2200 block of Cherry, with the five houses shown in the pictures below.  I found the descriptions on the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the South Cherry Street Historic District.   []

2240-2242 Cherry Street, ca 1935 – A two-story U-shaped brick apartment complex facing east. The U-shaped building presents two facades to the street, identical to each other. 

2224 Cherry Street, ca 1897 – A two-story clapboard Queen Anne house with two-story turret, featuring a bell-cast hip roof and fish scale shingles in the area above the main roof of the house. 

2209 Cherry Street, ca 1902 – A one-story formed concrete block Romanesque Revival house with a hipped dormer.

2213 Cherry Street, ca 1900 – A two-story formed concrete block Queen Anne house. There is a two-story round tower on the north side of the house which has an asphalt-covered conical roof. The porch originally extended across the front and around the right side.

2238 Cherry Street c. 1895  -- A two-story, clapboard Victorian vernacular residence, facing east, with an asphalt-covered hip roof. The one story, full-width front porch is covered by a shed roof supported by four turned posts with jigsawn brackets. There are three bays: two floor-length, double-hung, two-over-two wood sash; and a glazed single-leaf door with a transom and entablature with pilasters as side surrounds.

Please join me next time to continue my walk through the heart of one of the most beautiful historic districts of Vicksburg.  The best is yet to come.

1 comment:

racheld said...

Oh, My, Janie!! I just happened on this---don't know why it was so far down in my sidebar, but several current things have sunk way below years ago lately.

And on this BUSY Monday, as well---my cleaners coming at 12:30 and other little things I "meant" to do when i was whiling away the weekend.

Just a quick delve into the first page, and I'm captivated---it's YOU again, in all your photographic perfection---how I look forward to an evening's whole contemplation and meander through your SWEET streets!

love and,