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Museums & Historic Sites

More Architecture of the Governor’s Mansion

Today we continue the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion series, written by guest blogger Mary Lohrenz, curator of the mansion. This post continues her discussion of the Greek Revival style of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion.

Let’s go inside to discover more Greek Revival elements. You can also view the floorplans of the Governor’s Mansion.

Foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2000
Octagonal foyer, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2000
Foyer column detail, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010
Foyer column detail, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010

The mansion’s octagonal foyer has columns that are a different interpretation of the Corinthian order than those on the front portico.

The Corinthian foyer columns are set in antis, meaning round columns placed between square columns or piers.  Mansion architect William Nichols also used Doric columns set in antis for the side entrances of the 1839 Mississippi Capitol. 

Architrave over Front Rose Parlor door to foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2009
Architrave over Front Rose Parlor door to foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2009
Architrave, Black Rose Parlor looking into Front Rose Parlor, Governor's Mansion, 2009
Architrave over pocket doors, Back Rose Parlor looking into Front Rose Parlor, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009
Architrave, LaFever engravings, 1839
Architrave, Lafever engravings, 1839

There are ornately-carved architraves (ornamental moldings) with the Greek honeysuckle design above the pocket doors located between the Front and Back Rose Parlors and between the State Dining Room and the Gold Parlor and above the front door and selected first floor room doors. William Nichols patterned these after engravings published in Minard Lafever’s The Beauties of Modern Architecture (3rd edition, 1839).   

Mantel, Green Bedroom, Governor's Mansion, 2009
Mantel, Green Bedroom, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009
"Chimney Pieces," La Fever engravings, 1839
"Chimney Pieces," Lafever engravings, 1839

William Nichols also used Lafever’s publication as the pattern for the Greek Revival rosette design of the original wooden mantel in the mansion’s Green Bedroom.

Read more about the mansion’s history and view frequently asked questions

Free tours of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion are given Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on the half-hour.  Reservations are required for groups of ten or more.  Because the mansion may be closed for official state functions, you should call 601-359-6421 to confirm tour availability.

Sources:

Helen Cain and Anne D. Czarniecki,  An Illustrated Guide to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion (Jackson:  University Press of Mississippi, 1984).

Mary Lohrenz, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion Docent Manual (January 2011).

C. Ford Peatross and Robert O. Mellown,  William Nichols, Architect  (Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Art Gallery, 1979).