Abandoned Junior High School in Mississippi

Carr Junior High School - Carr Central High School, Vicksburg Mississippi
Date added: July 31, 2022 Categories: Mississippi School
Classroom (1999)

Constructed in 1924, Carr Junior was the city's only white junior high school until 1932 when it became the city's only white high school. When Cooper High School was built in 1959 Carr once again was used as a junior high. The school was closed in 1979 when white and colored schools were combined as a result of integration.

Vicksburg's public school system was formed in 1835, ten years after the incorporation of the City of Vicksburg. In these early years classes were held for both boys and girls in the old Vicksburg Hotel on Main Street. In 1870 the Vicksburg Municipal Separate School District was created as one of the first such districts established under the 1870 Legislative Enactment implementing a program of public education in accordance with the Constitutional Provisions of 1868. In 1885 the district hired William Stanton to design and supervise the construction of the Main Street School (on the site of the Vicksburg Hotel) and the Walnut Street School, both for white children, and the Cherry Street School for colored students. By 1895 the Main Street School was referred to as the "Girl's High" while the grammar and high school boys attended the Walnut Street School. An additional building, South Vicksburg (also known as Speed Street School and designed by Stanton) had also been added by this time for boys and girls in the south end of the city.

In 1914 a new high school was built on the corner of Howard and Clay Streets and the Main Street School became an elementary school. Carr Junior was the next school to be built by the district and it housed elementary classes and the administrative offices of the school district, in addition to junior high classes. According to an article in the Vicksburg Evening Post on September 11, 1924, William A. Stanton offered his services to the school board when a proposed school building program was announced. Having worked with Stanton on its previous projects, the board retained his services to build Carr Junior. William Stanton moved to Vicksburg from Natchez in the 1870s. He designed many public, commercial and religious buildings in Vicksburg over the next fifty years, as well as many of the most prominent residential buildings in the city. Among his designs were the Hotel Piazza (not extant), the first B'nai B'rith Literary Stock Club (not extant), the Willis Home (not extant), the American National Bank Building (not extant), the Citizens National Bank Building, and Bud Bazsinsky's Stable. Stanton was also the supervising architect for the erection of many of the monuments in the Vicksburg National Military Park including the Iowa Monument and the Illinois Monument. Carr School was designed by Stanton after careful study of school buildings across the United States and was built for $220,000 by E. G. Parish Construction Company of Jackson, Tennessee. The school was named in honor of John P. Carr, who, by 1924, had been the superintendent of the Vicksburg Public Schools for eighteen years. Carr moved from Indiana to Vicksburg in 1887 and in 1892 began his career with the public schools as a principal. teacher and superintendent.

Building Description

Located on the east side of Cherry Street in downtown Vicksburg, Carr Junior High School is a symmetrical three-story red brick institutional building designed in the Tudor Gothic style. The roof is flat and hidden behind a stepped parapet wall capped with a limestone coping.

The main facade of the building features a central projecting rectangular bay that houses the main entrance at the second floor level and a three-part metal window with pivot sash on the third story. A stepped parapet rises above the parapet of the main part of the roof and bears the inscription "Carr Junior High School" in limestone. The main entrance, originally recessed behind a segmental-arched opening, is accessed by a three-platform staircase. In front of the first platform is a marble plaque which lists the names of the mayor and aldermen, city clerk, school board trustees, superintendent, architect, and builder. On either side of this central bay is a three-part multi-pane metal window with pivot sash on each of the three floors. A rectangular bay projects forward at each end of the building and features a four-part metal window containing four six-over-three-over-six pivot sash windows on each floor. A plain stone belt course separates the first and second floors and another divides the third floor from the parapet. The four bays on the second story are enhanced with limestone label lintels.

The south elevation is broken by eight bays on the first floor: a pair of six-over-three windows with pivot sash, two single-leaf entrys filled with non-historic doors, a six-over-three-over six window with pivot sash, and four three-part windows like those found on the facade. The belt course continues from the facade to this elevation and the windows are enhanced with label lintels. The north elevation features ten bays: double doors with a label lintel in the front section of the building, a pair of six-over-three windows with pivot sash and six paired six-over-three-over-six windows with pivot sash in the middle section. and two bays filled with non-historic sash in the rear section. The belt course continues to divide the building on this elevation as well. A two-bay classroom (24' x 54') at the rear of the center section of the building rises above the third floor and is the only room at the four story level. There are no bays on the first floor of the rear elevation. However, three paired six-over-three-over-six windows with pivot sash are found on each of the other two floors.

As originally built, the basement, located on the north side toward the rear, housed the boilers, coal storage and hot water supply. On all three floors. a wide corridor runs the width of the building (N-S) with concrete stairs at each end which run to the third floor. This corridor also runs the depth of the building (E-W) from the south end of the corridor. The first floor housed the cafeteria (59' x 67') in the center with rooms off of it containing the kitchen, dish-washing and storage facilities. In addition, the first floor was occupied by large classrooms. bathrooms with showers and dressing rooms, boys and girls play rooms. and the kindergarten department with its own bathrooms, office and storage area.