Scottish Rite Cathedral (Meridian, Mississippi)

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Scottish Rite Cathedral
Location 1101 23rd Ave., Meridian, Mississippi
Area less than one acre
Built 1914
Architect Krouse,P.J.; Cass Construction Co.
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Egyptian Revival
MPS Meridian MRA
NRHP reference # 79003404[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 1979[2]
Removed from NRHP May 15, 1987

The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Meridian, Mississippi is a former building that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed in Egyptian Revival style by prolific Meridian architect P.J. Krouse, who also designed Meridian City Hall in 1915[3] and the 1906 Greek Revival building used by Congregation Beth Israel.[4]


The site of the former building was originally the site of the Methodist Mississippi Female College (MFC), established in 1869 as the city's second oldest college (only surpassed by the Baptist MFC, established in 1865). The Methodist MFC was later converted into Beeson's College.[5]

The design of the Scottish Rite building was inspired by a trip to Egypt taken by Hyman W. Witcover, an architect from Savannah, Georgia. The architect was impressed by the Temple to Osiris on the island of Philae, now submerged due to the construction of the Aswan Dam. Witcover designed a Scottish Rite Cathedral with the hope that it would one day be built by the Scottish Rite. Krouse revised and resubmitted the plans in 1914 and supervised construction, which was carried out by the Cass Construction Company, located in Georgia. The three story building was built into the side of a hill so that the northern facade appeared only two stories tall with a basement. Circling the whole building was an Egyptian-style gorge-and-roll cornice. A central projecting section on the northern side of the building contained a recessed entrance supported by columns with lotus flower capitals. A vulture and sundisk symbol was located in the entablature directly above the columns, and the front entrance was flanked by sphinxes covered in polychromatic terracotta and two obelisks.[5]

Following destruction by fire on March 20, 1985,[6] the building was delisted from the National Register in 1987.[7]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings in Mississippi" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Archives and History. December 31, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  3. ^ W. White (May 27, 2010). "An Alabama–Mississippi Architectural Partnership". Preservation in Mississippi. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  4. ^ "History of Congregations Beth Israel & Ohel Jacob, Meridian, Mississippi". Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities. Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  5. ^ a b Jody Cook (February 1979). "State of Mississippi Historic Sites Survey: Scottish Rite Cathedral". 
  6. ^ "Letter from Kenneth H. P'Pool, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, to Carol D. Shull, Chief of Registration for the National Register". May 11, 1987. The properties listed below no longer exist and have been recommended by the Mississippi State Professional Review Board for delisting from the National Register of Historic Places: [...] Scottish Rite Cathedral. 1101 23rd Avenue, Meridian, Lauderdale County. Listed 12/18/1979. Destroyed by fire 3/20/1985  Attached is the original National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Scottish Rite Cathedral (#79003404), including one image (January 1979).
  7. ^ "Actions taken on the National Register in 1987" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-07-13.