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Airlie


Airlie (9 Elm Street, Natchez, MS 39120) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.

Description

Airlie is a one-story dwelling, roughly rectangular in shape, with front and rear galleries and a doubled-pitched roof. The house sits detached on 7 acres of land. A circular gravel drive leads from Elm Street to the front gallery. An old kitchen and cistern sit behind the eastern side of the house, as well as a series of garages.

The front and rear galleries run the full length of the main body of the house. East and west wings of a lesser depth complete the full width of the house. While not connected to the main galleries, each wing maintains a separate front gallery. All these galleries have slender, chamfered square wooden columns and simple railings with slender square balusters. The front gallery is supported by a solid wall while a series of brick pier lattice between hold up the rear. The floor of the rear gallery is several steps lower than the main body of the house. Both front and rear galleries have a flight of central wooden steps with wrought iron railings directly below the front and rear entrance. Each entrance contains a pair of wide glazed doors with glazed sidelights. An additional entrance, most likely dating from the original construction of the house, is centrally located in the front face of the eastern main body of the house. It is a single door. The windows of Airlie have louvered shutters and are double hung with upper and lower sashes divided by narrow muntins into 12 small panes. All the exterior detailings of the house has been consistently followed.

The roof of Airlie is a fine example of a late 18th century vernacular style. In the front, it is gabled with a shed roof extending over the front gallery. In the rear, the roof follows a gradual slope from the pitch, extending this pitch over the rear gallery. The rafters of the steeply pitched gable are framed on the front and rear walls of the front rooms. Rafters of a lesser pitch are framed on the front galleries and the back wall of the rear room attaching near the pitch. As a result, the ceilings of the rear rooms and front gallery are the same height while the ceilings of the front rooms are considerably higher. Accordingly, the ceiling of the central hallway drops abruptly midway through the house. The ceiling of the rear gallery is sloped with the pitch of the rear roof. The wooden framing of the gallery ceilings remains exposed.

The east and west wings continue the roof line of the main body of the house but because the wings are of a lesser depth, walls have been extended up from the galleries of the roof.

Airlie consists of 8 rooms arranged around a long, broad central hallway. This hallway runs the full depth of the house connecting the front and rear galleries. Four large rooms, two front and back, make up the main body of the house. These four rooms are all accessed through the central hallway. The eastern front and rear main rooms are also connected by the central doorway. The two wings of the east wing are accessed through a small hallway leading off the eastern front room. The western set of main rooms are both connected to their smaller western living counterparts. Galleries of the wings are accessed only through the east and west main front rooms.

Interior detailing of Airlie consists of moldings of the 1830's Greek Revival style. The door and window casings are mitered. Each of the four main rooms, as well as the two front rooms of the wings, have their own chimney and fireplaces.

The original house built circa 1793 is now contained within the eastern half of the main body of the house. It is made up of front and rear rooms with their associated galleries and respective fireplaces and chimneys. Access to the house was through front and rear central doorways and a corresponding doorway connected the two rooms. Each outside doorway had one large double-hung small paned window to each side. This front door and its windows have already been mentioned. The back door has been weatherboarded over. The broad central hallway and two left main rooms were added in the 1830's. Since no joints are apparent in the facade, it is believed that the present weatherboarding was added at this time. The wings were added in the 1850's.

Significance

Airlie is an important example of the early Natchez Planter's Home of the late 18th, early 19th centuries. Its distinctive double-pitched roof of a gable with an attached roof shed over the front gallery, its glazed sidelights on either side of the front and rear doorways, and its exposed framing in the ceiling of the galleries, all attest to early construction and significance. Airlie rests on land awarded to Stephen Minor in 1793 as part of two Spanish land grants.[1] When the site changed hands in 1800, it was described as being that part on which the mansion house now stands.[2] Although the house has been added to several times in its early years, these additions have maintained and enhanced the original design and character of the house.

Endnotes

  1. [1]Adams Co., Chancery Clerk, Deed Book B:68
  2. [2]Adams Co., Chancery Clerk, Ibid.

References

Natchez, Symbol of the Old South by Nola Nance Oliver; Hasting House, N.Y.C.: 1940.

This Too is Natchez by Nola Nance Oliver; Hasting House, N.Y.C.; 1953.

The Majesty of Natchez by Reid Smith & John Owens; Paddle Wheel Publications, Montgomery, Alabama; 1969.

They Found it in Natchez by Theodora Britton Marshall & Gladys Crail Evans; Pelican Publishing Company, New Orleans; 1939.

Natchez, A Treasure of Antebellum Homes by J. Wesley Cooper; Southern Historical Publications Inc., Natchez, MS; 1957.

Antebellum Houses of Natchez by J. Wesley Cooper; Southern Historical Publications, Inc., Natchez, MS; 1970.

Natchez Antebellum Homes by Mrs. Raymond Tyree; Tom L. Ketchings Company, Natchez, MS: 1964.

Antebellum Natchez by D. Clayton James; L.S.U. Press, Baton Rouge, LA; 1968.

Natchez on the Mississippi by Harnett T. Kane; William Morrow & Company, New York, NY: 1947.

Natchez, Museum City of the Old South by Robert Gordon Pishel; Magnolia Publishing Tulsa, Oklahoma; 1959.

Natchez: a pamphlet-extract from the Second Edition of Riparian Lands of the Mississippi River; R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Polk Street & Plymouth Place, Printers.

The Southwest by a Yankee by Joseph H. Ingraham; Harber Brothers, New York, NY; 1835.

Historic Architecture in Mississippi by Mary Wallace Crocker, University and College Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS; 1973.

The Barber of Natchez by Edwin Adams Davis and William Ranson Hogan; Kennikat Press, Port Washington, NY — London; 1954.

Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service; Department of the Interior, Washington, DC; Catalogue, 1941; Catalogue Supplement 1959. (Materials available through Library of Congress.)

Adams County Chancery Clerk, Deed Book B:68.

† Mary Ellen Fogarty, Airlie (Belvidere), nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Airlie Map

Street Names
Elm Street

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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