This home in McComb MS is also known as Holmes-Brent House

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi
Date added: April 05, 2024 Categories:
Front north elevation (1988)

Brentwood is the best remaining example of the Neoclassical Revival style in McComb. The Neoclassical Revival was widely adopted throughout Mississippi in the first two decades of this century for prestigious residences. The symmetrical main facade is dominated by the full-height, pedimented portico with fluted Ionic columns; the elaborate frontispieces surrounding beveled leaded glass doors, transoms and sidelights; the semi-circular side portico; and the ceramic tiled hip roof trimmed with a dentilled and modillioned frieze and molded cornice of Brentwood combine to create an excellent example of domestic Neoclassical Revival architecture. The interior has such features as fluted pilasters; eight fireplaces with ornate mantelpieces; an open, two-flight stairway having a mahogany balustrade and drop pendants; a tripartite stained glass window; fine millwork; plaster cornices and ceiling medallions; brass chandeliers; and oak floors.

Hilborn B. ("Hib") Holmes and his wife, Evie Elizabeth Mixon Holmes, built this Neoclassical Revival house in 1912. They selected the finest materials to construct the home, purchasing lumber from J. J. White Lumber Company in McComb and the beveled leaded glass doors from New Orleans. Hib Holmes and his brother, William F. Holmes, were partners in a mercantile and grocery business called The Holmes Brothers.

In 1940, Mrs. Holmes sold her home to Julius Hubert Brent and his wife, Elizabeth Kennedy Brent. Mr. Brent was a merchant and real estate operator, probably "responsible for the erection of as many new buildings in McComb as any other single figure" ("Widely Known Pike Leader Passes Away," The Summit [Mississippi] Sun, October 28th, 1948, p. 1). He was very active in the community and also served two terms in the Mississippi State Legislature.

Building Description

The Holmes-Brent House, also known as Brentwood, is located on the southwest corner of Delaware Avenue and Sixth Street, just three blocks from downtown McComb. Situated on 24,300 square feet of land, the house is surrounded by pecan, elm, crepe myrtle, oak, and magnolia trees.

The two-and-one-half story, brick, 5x5 bay, Neoclassical Revival mansion rests on a high foundation that is stuccoed and scored to resemble stone, and is crowned by a hip roof clad in ceramic tile and trimmed with a dentilled and modillioned frieze and molded cornice.

A one-story wing is to the rear, and five interior paneled brick chimneys pierce the roofs of the main house and wing. The main (north) facade is dominated by a two-story pedimented portico featuring colossal fluted Ionic columns and pilasters resting on scored stucco parapets and supporting a full entablature composed of an architrave with multiple fascias, a modillioned and dentilled frieze, and a molded cornice. The tympanum is highlighted by a lunette accented by tracery and trimmed with a molded surround and keystone, and the upper gallery is enclosed by a balustrade having turned balusters and molded rails.

The central bay of each level of the facade contains a recessed door detailed with molded back bands, fine millwork, and beveled leaded glass. The doorway on the first level is framed by paneled millwork and leaded glass sidelights and transom with corner lights. The frontispiece on each level consists of fluted Ionic colonettes and pilasters supporting a full dentilled entablature. Window openings on the facade are 12/1 double-hung sash crowned by a flat stone jack arch with keystone. A cast stone belt course directly beneath the second-story windows encircles the house.

The east (side) elevation is highlighted by a one-story,. 3-bay, semi-circular portico which features fluted Ionic columns, fluted pilasters, and a flat roof that has jigsawn purlins and is crowned by a balustrade featuring turned balusters, molded rails, and plain newels with molded caps. The central bay on each level of this elevation contains a recessed beveled leaded glass door framed by leaded glass sidelights and transom and surrounded by a frontispiece like the entrances on the main facade. Just south of the central entry on the first level is a pair of French doors topped by a three-light transom, and other openings on this elevation are 12/1 double-hung sash windows, all crowned by flat stone jack arches with keystones. A gabled dormer with a Palladian-influenced window pierces the roof of this elevation.

The 4,050 sq. ft. interior features fine millwork, decorative plasterwork, oak floors, pocket doors, beveled leaded glass doors and fluted pilasters. The ceilings and cornices are of decorative plasterwork, and the brass chandeliers with frosted domes are surrounded by plaster medallions.

The 41' long and 12' wide, central, T-shaped hallway is accented by an open, 2-flight stairway having a mahogany balustrade featuring turned balusters and a massive paneled newel post. Drop pendants grace the stairway, and at the landing is a tripartite stained glass window featuring reds, greens, browns, and gold in a floral design. To the east of the central hall, on the lower level, is the music room, hall, and bedroom; to the west is the living room, dining room, and breakfast room; and to the south (rear) is a hall, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom, and sun porch. The second level has four bedrooms and a bathroom. In the living room is an ornately carved walnut mantelpiece with tilework and a mirrored overmantel. The music room is dominated by a fireplace with a tiled face, a bracketed shelf, and an overmantel detailed with a landscaped mural of inlaid wood.

The back stairway and attic may be entered from the second-floor landing. The enclosed back stairway leads to the first-floor sitting room, and stairs on the west side of the landing, concealed by a large wooden door, lead to a full unfloored attic constructed of heart pine. The second-floor hall is flanked on the west side by a pilaster and colonette supporting a double archway that is a mock entrance to the southwest bedroom and bathroom, which has its original fixtures, including a fluted pedestal washstand and footed tub. The walls of the bathroom are sheathed in 8" marble blocks, and the floor is ceramic tile.

The grounds originally included a brick servants' quarters and a pergola, but both structures were demolished in the 1970s.

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Front north elevation (1988)
Front north elevation (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Front north and east elevations (1988)
Front north and east elevations (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi North elevation (1988)
North elevation (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Ionic columns on north side (1988)
Ionic columns on north side (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Main entrance on north side (1988)
Main entrance on north side (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi East elevation (1988)
East elevation (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi East and part of north elevation (1988)
East and part of north elevation (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Drawing room mantelpiece (1988)
Drawing room mantelpiece (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Main stairway from north entrance (1988)
Main stairway from north entrance (1988)

Brentwood House, McComb Mississippi Rear south elevation (1988)
Rear south elevation (1988)