The Cotton District

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The Cotton District in April 2009

The Cotton District is a community located in Starkville, Mississippi. It was founded by Dan Camp, who is the developer, owner and property manager of much of the area.[1] It is significant for its use of traditional architecture and as an example of traditional neighborhood development practices in the 1960s.[2] The project may thus be classified as a predecessor to the New Urbanism movement, which came into being in the 1980s.

Video of the Cotton District in Starkville, Mississippi.

The Cotton District has elements of Greek Revival mixed with Classical or Victorian. Many of these ideas came from Camp’s own travels to Europe and parts of the United States, like Charleston and New Orleans. The Cotton District is a walkable neighborhood that contains many restaurants and bars in addition to thousands of unique residential units, many which are filled by college students and young professionals.

New Urbanist architect and co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism Andres Duany has visited Starkville on multiple occasions to observe Camp and get ideas from his innovative development. "He's the most interesting story in the U.S.," Duany was quoted as saying in a 1994 issue of Builder magazine, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders.

The area is home to the annual Cotton District Arts Festival which now boasts as many as 20,000 attendants each year. It also hosts the annual Bulldog Bash, which draws over 30,000 people for the festival's free concerts and has featured artists such as Third Eye Blind, Gavin Degraw, Sister Hazel, Howie Day, Will Hoge and Edwin McCain among others.

Starkville is adjacent to the campus of Mississippi State University and is also a registered retirement community.


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Coordinates: 33°27′36″N 88°48′11″W / 33.459972°N 88.802969°W / 33.459972; -88.802969