I arrived in Jackson late Friday afternoon to attend the NASW board meeting scheduled for all day Saturday. Having given up on the likelihood that I could carve out a couple of days for Jackson archival research right now, I opted to at least shoot the images I need for the research. I waited until almost 7 to head downtown, hoping it would cool off at least a little and that the traffic had time to abate. Trekking down the hill from where I had to park my car, I looked to my right and exclaimed outloud, “Bailey Junior High! I think that is Bailey Junior High!” Also known as Bailey Middle School and Bailey Magnet School, it is a building I have longed to see, and had no idea I would walk right past it.
Bailey Junior High was a Public Works Administration project, completed in 1937 under Roosevelt’s New Deal Administration. Begun in 1936, the Art Moderne building was described as
…large L-shaped monolithic poured concrete (David Preziosi, National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Belhaven Historic District).
From the left, gymnasium, which had no openings to the front elevation; stair tower; classroom block; central entrance; classroom block; projecting auditorium. The spectator stands constructed behind the building are visible to the left of the gymnasium in the photograph below.
Architect: N. W. Overstreet & A. H. Town; Contractor: W. J. McGee & Son; Relief sculturer designer: Joseph Barros; Cast stone/bas reliefs: Jackson Stone Company; Plaster/stucco: A. C. Hopton (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory). If you have not used the awesome MDAH HRI resources, go visit at the link. I have said this before, but of all the states in which I do New Deal research (primarily Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana in addition to Mississippi), it is the best and most complete, not to mention easiest to use, database for research about buildings.