Myrtle Street Historic District
The Myrtle Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Myrtle Street Historic District is composed of five houses and one church. The Myrtle Street Historic District is a cohesive block of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century architecture located amid the encroaching redevelopment of the historic resources of Magnolia. Bordered on its eastern side by State Highway 51 (North Clark Street) and on its western side by the rambling structures of the Magnolia Elementary School, the Myrtle Street Historic District is a well preserved and secure bastion within the neighborhood's recent commercial, residential, and educational construction.
Myrtle Street is a two-lane paved avenue with a proliferation of trees providing continuity between the opposite sides. Lots on Myrtle Street are smaller than in Southtown, and residences were constructed closer together. Each residence, however, has a spacious front or corner yard.
The following buildings contribute to the Myrtle Street Historic District:
1. 225 North Clark Street (Presbyterian Church of Magnolia). Located on a corner lot facing east, the Presbyterian Church of Magnolia is a one-story, T-shaped structure with a two-story tower and steeple erected at the northeast corner. The broad cross-gable roofline contrasts with the steeply-pitched, Gothic-arched, irregularly-placed bays. Main entrance, a single door, is through the tower. 1881.
2. 102 West Myrtle Street (Belle Maison). Two-and-a-half-story, Queen Anne house on residential corner facing south. Two-story, beehive capped tower on southeast corner. Main entrance is centered paired doors with upper-glass panels and transom. Fenestration throughout building is irregular, mainly one-over-one, double-hung sash. Facade has a truncated hipped-roof porch with slender columns and balusters, and the roof provides a balustraded balcony on the second floor. Secondary facade on North Clark Street has one-story, three-bay enclosed porch with truncated hipped roof, also providing a second-story balustraded balcony. This room has secondary, single-door entrance. Two interior chimneys. 1902.
3. 135 West Myrtle Street (Andrews House). One-story, irregularly-massed and fenestrated, turn-of-the-century dwelling facing north. Facade is seven-bay including centered single-leaf door main entrance and a gable-roofed polygonal pavilion at the northwest corner. Irregularly colonnaded porch along entire front facade. ca. 1905.
4. 140 West Myrtle Street (Frith House). One-story, five-bay, turn-of-the-century, Greek Revival inspired house with gable roof and wide porch delineated by six slender round posts. Shingled central gable has rectangular window and decorative woodwork. Main entrance is central double door with transom. Completed fenestration are four six-over-nine floor-to-ceiling windows. Two interior chimneys. ca. 1900.
5. 145 West Myrtle Street (Cunsen House). One-story, irregularly massed, turn-of-the-century dwelling facing north on corner lot. Moderately pitched hipped roof interrupted by irregularly introduced gables including a gable-roofed, three-bay polygonal pavilion at the northwest corner. Main entrance is a central single door with transom. One floor-to-ceiling window on northeast corner. Secondary entrance on eastern facade is single door with transom. L-shaped porch with slender columns. One interior chimney. ca. 1900.
6. 150 West Myrtle Street (Owens House). One-story, irregularly massed, turn-of-the-century house facing south on corner lot. Central hipped roof with two projecting front gables. Irregularly shaped porch along most of southern and eastern facade features conical roof at southwest corner. Five-bay facade with central door with transom and sidelights. Porte-cochere on western (secondary) facade. Paired interior chimneys removed. Similar to individually nominated Carraway House, 420 North Clark Street. ca. 1905.
The Myrtle Street Historic District is significant within the Historic Resources of Magnolia as the best example of a cohesive middle-class residential block as it existed in turn-of-the-century Magnolia. The Myrtle Street Historic District's largely unaltered residences and church reflect the less affluent citizenry and less exuberant construction within Magnolia's northern section, and as such are an important contrast to the grandiose development in Southtown.
While the Myrtle Street Historic District is located in the earliest settled area of Magnolia, this particular area was not developed until the construction of the Presbyterian Church of Magnolia in 1881. The church, oriented to the already developed North Clark Street, is a substantial part of the Myrtle Street block and is one of two extant nineteenth century churches in Magnolia.
The residences of Myrtle Street, constructed approximately within a five year period, are significant for both their architectural individuality and cohesiveness within their neighborhood setting. Belle Maison is the finest example of Queen Anne architecture on both Myrtle Street and within the vicinity. The Owens House, built along a plan similar to the Carraway House a block down on North Clark Street, exhibits Queen Anne elements, while the Firth House blends a one-story, five-bay Greek Revival massing with decorative woodwork and shingles.
The Cunsen and Andrews House are less academic and more eclectic, and their sturdy, substantial massing and subdued use of decorative details belie the unpretentiousness of the houses of Magnolia's middle class.
More than any other block in Magnolia, the Myrtle Street Historic District suggests the familial solidarity of a small-town, turn-of-the-century neighborhood. The overall cohesiveness and well-preserved condition of the Myrtle Street Historic District is unsurpassed in Magnolia.
Smith, Lourette. Magnolia Through the Years. Magnolia, Miss.: Traditional Printing, 1977.
† P. Ana Gordon, Historian, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Southtown Historic District, Pike County, Mississippi, nomination document, 1983, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.