North Park Street Historic District
The North Park Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. 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 North Park Street Historic District is a small group of historic structures located along a portion of North Park Street east of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, north of Main Street (MS Highway 4), and south of McKie Street in the city of Senatobia, Tate County, Mississippi. The North Park Street Historic District is composed of seven principal residences along with various associated outbuildings and site features.
The character of the North Park Street Historic District is largely shaped by its proximity with the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Each of the principal buildings within the district face west towards the railroad right of way along North Park Street, which closely parallels the same railroad right of way. A small grassy strip separates the grade of North Park Street from the elevated railroad bed.
A notable feature of the street and lot plan of the North Park Street Historic District is the public park strip that runs between the line of North Park Street and the private lot frontages of the houses in the district. The park strip ranges in width from twenty-five to forty feet, and houses in the North Park Street Historic District are set back from this strip an additional twenty-five to fifty feet atop a low, gently rising terrace. The boundary between the public and private green spaces is delineated by the public sidewalk at the summit of this low terrace, thus making the sidewalk barely visible from the right-of-way of North Park Street. Driveways for individual houses cross this public strip to connect with North Park Street, but front walks connect only with the sidewalk. This unusual sidewalk pattern ends immediately at the boundaries of the district; it is a pattern not continued elsewhere in Senatobia. The origins of this unusual public/private community planning pattern are not clear.
Given the small number of residences contained in the North Park Street Historic District, the range of sizes, scales, construction dates and architectural styles employed here is quite surprising. Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and Minimalist Traditional styling is found here among houses ranging in construction dates from ca. 1898 to ca. 1935-40. Homestead houses, side L-plan cottages and bungalows are the predominate house types. As in any district, a few of these houses have seen the addition of metal or vinyl siding, among other modifications, but the essential spirit of their basic form and detailing remains unaffected.
There are notable elements of the general streetscape within the North Park Street Historic District which establish the character of its historic setting, as evolved over time. The lot divisions along North Park Street, their front yard setbacks, and side yard setbacks all combine to provide a regular rhythm as the setting for its historic buildings; the public park strip, sidewalks, lawns and private plantings all reflect evidence that the district has continuity as a place for living. All of these elements contribute to the character of the district. Significance
The North Park Street Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the area of architecture as a significant concentration of historic residences, which contribute to the overall qualities of the historic residential development of Senatobia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The North Park Street Historic District contains notable examples of side L-plan houses, homestead houses, composite cottages and bungalows which reinforce the historical pattern of house types found in the historic areas of Senatobia; its Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and Minimalist Traditional influences represent a majority of the historic styles found here. In all, the North Park Street Historic District represents historic architectural qualities which cut across a large portion of the entire historic period of Senatobia's development as a city. The period of significance for the North Park Street Historic District begins with the date of construction for its earliest residence; the period concludes with the date of construction of the latest residence that supports the historic character of the district.
The historical development of North Park Street is not fully clear, in part due to the fact that the district is not represented on Sanborn maps until the 1915 map series. At this time, the street name was known as East Front Street. The alignment of the street appears to be contemporary with the development of South Park Street (part of Southeast Senatobia Historic District, NR listed), located to the south of East Main Street from the North Park Street Historic District. Prior research efforts suggest that the earliest residence on this street is the Page-Woolfolk House, 207 North Park Street, built in ca. 1898, according to its current occupant, Wesley Woolfolk. The house type, architectural style, detailing and materials all appear to be generally consistent with this construction date. The presence of earlier structures in the North Park Street Historic District is not supported by the historical evidence available. Most existing structures appear to date from the roughly thirty year period following the construction of the Page-Woolfolk House.
Portions of the area east of the North Park Street Historic District along the present-day McKie Street were platted and sold by the Senatobia Oil Company in 1914 (Plat Book 1, pg. 2; Deed Book T, pg. 590). Given the dates of construction for most houses existing along North Park Street, it is suggested that the action of the Senatobia Oil Company was something of a reaction to an existing trend in development of North Park Street. Any trend, apparently, was squelched by the uncertainties of World War I.
Though small in size and number, the North Park Street Historic District provides an important contribution to the historic architectural fabric of Senatobia. Further, the North Park Street Historic District possesses unique qualities of design which add diversity to the historic streetscapes of the city. These qualities all combine to form an important contribution to the character of place unique to Senatobia.
Carpenter, Howard, editor, The History of Tate County (Senatobia, MS: B/C Printing, 1975).
Tate County Democrat, "Take a Walk for In-Town History Tour," Progress Edition, July 3, 1980, Section D.
Tate County Plat Book 1, page 2, filed May 27, 1914; recorded in Deed Book T, pg. 590, April 6, 1917.
Woolfolk, Wesley, Personal Communication, 1993.
† John Linn Hopkins, Preservation Consultant, North Park Street Historic District, Tate County, Senatobia, MS, nomination document, 1993, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.