ARCHITECTURE OF HISTORIC HOUSES OF NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI
Natchez, located on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, was a center for cotton farming. Many prominent northern families owned land, homes, and businesses in the area and as such, Natchez served as a refuge for Union soldiers during the Civil War.
A majority of the homes in Natchez were left relatively unscathed by the war. There are more antebellum mansions in the area than anywhere else in the South, making it a truly unique landscape and architectural heritage site.
Historic Districts in the Natchez Region
There are three nationally designated historic districts in the Natchez region:
- Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill
- The Upriver Residential District
- The Downriver Residential Historic District
These districts include over one thousand structures individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a dozen designated as National Historic Landmarks. During the spring and fall, celebrated Pilgrimage Tours are open to the public. They showcase the stunning architecture of 25 privately owned mansions, dependencies, and outbuildings.
The Historical Architecture of Natchez, Mississippi
The historical architecture was heavily influenced by French, British, and Spanish culture. Some designs follow traditional standards that are both strict and sophisticated, while others are more individualistic creations. For instance, Melrose is purely Greek Revival, while Longwood is the most elaborate octagonal house in the United States, known as the “Oriental Villa.”