Old Hattiesburg High School

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Old Hattiesburg High School
OldHattiesburgHighSchool 2004.jpg
Old Hattiesburg High School in 2004
Old Hattiesburg High School is located in Mississippi
Old Hattiesburg High School
Old Hattiesburg High School location in Mississippi
Location 846 North Main Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Coordinates 31°19′46″N 89°17′44″W / 31.3294°N 89.2956°W / 31.3294; -89.2956Coordinates: 31°19′46″N 89°17′44″W / 31.3294°N 89.2956°W / 31.3294; -89.2956
Built 1911, 1921
Architectural style Jacobethan
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 87000817 [1]
USMS # 035-HAT-1689.3-NR-ML
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 29, 1987[3]
Designated USMS December 12, 1986[2]

Old Hattiesburg High School, located at 846 North Main Street, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was utilized as a public school building from around 1911 to 1959.[3] The building was designated a Mississippi Landmark in 1986 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. In 2007, the structure was heavily damaged by arson.


Old Hattiesburg High School Sideview 2012

The school building was constructed in two phases. In 1911, a 2.5-story, rear structure was built with tan brick, a flat roof, and no ornamentation.[3] The front, 4.5-story, red brick, main building was constructed in 1921 by Hattiesburg architect Robert E. Lee. The interior featured dark-stained woodwork and pressed metal ceilings. In addition to classrooms, the building contained grand stairways and corridors, an interior courtyard, and an auditorium.[4]


Following closure of the building as a public school in 1959, it served as offices for the Hattiesburg Public School District and later, as an antiques mall, until 2001.[5] The Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association acquired the property in 2002, with the expectation of restoring the building.[4] In 2003, the Mississippi Heritage Trust listed the Old Hattiesburg High School as one of the ten most endangered landmarks in Mississippi.[5]

In 2005, the structure was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina. More severe damage occurred in 2007, when an arsonist set a fire on the first floor of the 1921 addition.[6] The fire spread to the fourth floor, and the roof collapsed. In 2008, a suspect in the arson was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison.[7]

Old Hattiesburg High School in 2012

In spite of the 2007 fire, long-term restoration plans continued, including stabilization of the front facade and fencing of the property against further vandalism.[8][9] By early 2010, reconstruction of the front facade was completed, but restoration efforts ceased because of harsh economic times brought on by the Great Recession.[6][8]


  1. ^ National Register of Historic Places, Forrest County, Mississippi Retrieved 2012-09-16
  2. ^ "Mississippi Landmarks". Mississippi Department of Archives and History. May 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Old Hattiesburg High School National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form Retrieved 2012-09-16
  4. ^ a b Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Retrieved 2012-09-17
  5. ^ a b Old Hattiesburg High School Retrieved 2012-09-17
  6. ^ a b Old Hattiesburg High School building Retrieved 2012-09-17
  7. ^ Old Hattiesburg High School arsonist sentenced Retrieved 2012-09-17
  8. ^ a b Old Hattiesburg High School project still in limbo Retrieved 2012-09-17
  9. ^ Old High School stabilization making progress Retrieved 2012-09-17

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