Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tupelo High School: Bem Price, Birmingham

No, this is not the building designed by Bem Price of Birmingham, and identified in the 1928-1929 architects of education buildings earlier in the month on MissPres blog.  In attempting to locate the building, I discovered that it was apparently destroyed in the 1936 tornado, and was rebuilt that same year--unknown information about that building's architect or builder.  The former high school building is now Milam elementary school.

Some additions have been made to the building following conversion to the elementary school, but the original building appears to have been the central building seen in this picture, and perhaps the round room to the left of the photo.

The building was constructed in the 30s, so this sign over the entrance gate must have been the gift of graduating students in 1949--if I were guessing why signs end up at schools years after the building's construction.  Entrance gates, walks with names on bricks--the ubiquitous carving of our presence in some semi-permanent fashion.
Around back--also apparently part of the original building (the newer wing seems quite evident just to the right of this section)--was most likely a gymnasium.  It doesn't take much imagination for me to picture couples hanging out in those doorways, girls wearing full skirts and sweaters with a strand of pearls.  One of my favorite pictures of my mother during those years, she is wearing such an ensemble.  My dad carried it in his billfold while he was in India and China during WWII, and it is creased and cracked as a result.

1 comment:

ELMalvaney said...

Bem Price's school was destroyed in the tornado of 1936 in Tupelo, along with most of that neighborhood. The current building is an Overstreet & Town built that next year.

Nice pics!