James O. Eastland Courthouse

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The James O. Eastland Federal Courthouse was designed by the prominent Jackson firm Hull & Malvaney and was constructed in 1933. The building originally included the U.S. Post Office, Federal offices, and the U.S. District Court. The building is an important historic structure, recognized for its significance as an example of Moderne/Art Deco style architecture. The building is also noteworthy as the setting of many historic civil rights trials in Mississippi through the 1950s and 1960s. The building was added to the NPS National Register of Historic Structures in 1976.

Located on Capitol Street in the Central Business District, the building is one of the most important contributing historic structures in the Smith Park Architectural Historic District in downtown Jackson. The district includes the historic Governor’s Mansion, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral, the old Mississippi State Capitol, the Museum of Mississippi History, the Civil Rights Museum, the War Memorial, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

As part of a redevelopment of the historic structure, Duvall Decker was engaged to complete the historic restoration of the structure and to qualify the project with the National Park Service and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for historic tax credits. The redevelopment included restoration of the limestone facade, exterior envelope, the historic post office lobby, the upper corridors and open stairs, and the restoration of the fourth-floor center district courtroom with its WPA mural. All of the restoration and rehabilitation work meets or exceeds the National Park Service Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The program for the rehabilitation and development of the facility included a mixed-use of housing, restaurant, lounge, coffee shop, and small commercial spaces. The modernization included the full integration of new mechanical, electrical, security, and life safety systems. The fire egress system required additional stairs and exit ways. All modernization, safety and security systems will be seamlessly integrated into the building’s historic architectural fabric. With minimal interventions, the re-purposed building will retain its original historic integrity.

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