Take a Tour of Laurel’s Historic Homes!

Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes

Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes

Sometimes, when you pass the same sights every day, you’ll stop noticing them. Thankfully, Laurelites have sights so beautiful during that morning commute, no one forgets the beauty of the Historic District.

Maybe you’ve seen HGTV Home Town, and you love the restored homes brought back to life by Erin and Ben. But have you seen the historic homes not shown on TV?

“Laurel’s historic district is a product of Laurel’s timber era (1893-1937) and is considered the largest, finest, and most intact collection of early 20th century architecture in Mississippi. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places both for its history and its wide variety of architectural styles – both with a high degree of quality and sophistication rare in the South and unique in Mississippi.” – Excerpt from the “Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes” Brochure

You can get your self-guided walking tour brochures at The Laurel Welcome Center, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, or Laurel Mercantile. These brochures feature 24 significant locations in our Historic District, little-known facts, and amazing architectural details.

“Because we have such rich history built by innovators, artisans, and entrepreneurs, our buildings and homes are awe-inspiring to look at. (And live in!)

I’m lucky enough to live in the Historic District in a very old home with tall ceilings and windows, a huge wrap-around porch, and plenty to look at right outside my door. And when I’m wanting to get out, everything is in walking distance. I’ve got a tennis court across the street, and can walk to work and Downtown in less than 10 minutes!” – Our own, Keri Rowell; Taken from our #iliveinlaurel blog.

WHITE OAK

540 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

White Oak - 540 North Fifth Avenue

White Oak – 540 North Fifth Avenue

“This 1910 Italianate Renaissance Revival was built by Phil S. Gardiner. The house is made of Roman brick (longer and thinner than regular brick), has terra cotta trim, large moldings on upper story windows, and an elaborate cornice around the roof (a characteristic of this style.)”

It’s our favorite because…
This house is a fortress! Not only was it built to be fireproof, but it also stood up to the might of Hurricane Katrina. A tree fell on it, and the occupants didn’t even know until rain started leaking in. Impressive!

SWEET OLIVE

756 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Sweet Olive - 756 North Fifth Avenue

Sweet Olive – 756 North Fifth Avenue

“The house has Colonial Revival lines with Mediterranean details and is one of a few houses in the historic district still owned by descendants of the original family.”

It’s our favorite because…
The gardens! The luscious gardens surrounding this house are a favorite view of locals as they drive into downtown to work each day, but are best enjoyed during a walk through the historic district.

THE GREEN BARN

726 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

The Green Barn - 726 North Fifth Avenue

The Green Barn – 726 North Fifth Avenue

“Derived from homes around Boston, Massachusetts, the Shingle style is characterized by horizontal lines. Frank Wisner, part owner of the Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company, built this house around 1900 and is said to have handpicked each piece of wood used to construct the house.”

It’s our favorite because…
Leontyne Price, the first African-American to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera, got her start here! Her aunt worked for the family, who eventually became her patrons and helped to bring her stunning voice to the world.

WISTERIA

706 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Wisteria - 706 North Fifth Avenue

Wisteria – 706 North Fifth Avenue

“Built around 1900, this house originally had a wraparound porch with rounded edges, and was in the Steamboat Gothic style. The porch was eventually replaced with a simpler brick porch, transforming the house into a more Colonial Revival style.”

It’s our favorite because…
You can stay here! Wisteria is one of Laurel’s most beautiful Bed & Breakfasts and is located across the street from the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and one block from Downtown Laurel.

ROGERS-GREEN HOUSE

566 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Rogers-Green House - 566 North Fifth Avenue

Rogers-Green House – 566 North Fifth Avenue

“Lauren-Rogers grew up in this house built of redwood around 1902 by his parents, Nina Eastman and Wallace B. Rogers. At the time, the innovative Prairie Style was developed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago to recreate the flat horizons of the American prairie.

It’s our favorite because…
This home is also a beautiful event venue! Many Saturdays you’ll find a wedding, party or other celebration happening on the lawn or in the garden. Stop by during the week for a look at the home, which is directly across the street from LRMA!

Next time you visit us, be sure to grab your Walking Tour brochure and explore our beautiful Historic District! We only shared a few of our favorites. There are plenty more homes worth seeing! 

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Bethany Byrd is a Laurel & Jones County native, active adventurer, and lover of all things creative and handmade. She enjoys bringing together creative souls and encouraging those around her to “make it matter” in everything they do. Mother of 2 and wife of a fellow adventurer and creative, you’ll usually find her telling stories and guiding entrepreneurs in the heart of Downtown Laurel at The Shop Co.Work.