Laura Haygood Grade School /Atlanta Union Mission

National Register listed : None
Location: 921 Howell Mill Road
Original Builders: 1938 WPA - Architects Ivey and Crook; 1949-1950 auditorium -architect H.Griffith Edwards
Period of Significance : 1938 - ? served as a public school
Significant Dates : 1938 built; 1949-1950 auditorium addition; 2002 -east addition.
Description of Architectural Classification :
Modern Classic
Classical Materials: brick, concrete, brass (dome)
Historic Functions: EDUCATIONAL- Girls School
Current Functions: INSTITUTIONAL / RELIGIOUS -Day Care / Counseling

Developmental history/historic context :

No significant research has been done on this building. Laura Haygood is mentioned in The Development of the Public Secondary Schools of Atlanta GA 1845-1937 as being Principal of the Girls High School from 1877-1884, located on Rosalia Street.

Today the Laura Haygood Grade School is readapted as The Atlanta Union Missions Ministry Center for Women - My Sisters House. Ninety homeless women and children have temporary refuge here. An addition to be built in 2002 will add apartments for an additional 108 women and children, a child daycare and an administration area. Of note: Of an estimated 5300 beds for the homeless in Atlanta, the Atlanta Union provides over 900. Over 1/2 of the total homeless are women and children.

Description of present and historic physical appearance:

The following is from Atlanta Architecture-Art Deco to Modern Classic by Georgia Tech Professor Robert M. Craig,
Pg. 122:

...Wilhoit's medieval vernacular helps underscore the stylistic variety of New Deal architecture, and the inability to apply a term such as "WPA Classic" or "PWA Classic" to period works built under these federal agencies. But there is an economy of line in thirties design that in part is governed by efforts to avoid extravagance and in part reflects an increasingly simple modern trend in architectural forms.

Two 1938 schools reflected these tendencies within classical vocabularies, the Garden Hills Elementary School, a WPA * project designed by Tucker and Howell, and the Haygood Elementary School (now Atlanta Union Mission for Women), built under the WPA program to designs by Ivey and Crook. Garden Hills sought to fit comfortably in a neighborhood of Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, and neoclassical residences. It represents a traditional work by a firm that, following World War II, would turn enthusiastically to Modern design with its Morris Brandon (1946-47) and Emma Hutchinson (1955-56) elementary schools.

At Ivey and Crook's 1938 Haygood School, a geometric entry block presented abstract forms as restrained as John Soane's early-nineteenth-century minimalist neoclassicism at Dulwich, but Haygood maintained a distinctly Modernistic air. Its projections are barely defined by shadows whose lines mark setbacks and fluted zigzag recesses flanking the door. A telescopic needle, itself a setback profile, capped the pyramid roof of the entry block. A delicate abstract floral band and almost unnoticed piecrust trim provided a faint echo of Deco relief patterns. Flanking wings projected only the air of a factory for education. But by the time H. Griffith Edwards added the 1949-50 Auditorium at the north end of the building, the fourth progressive modern style, European -inspired Modernism, was entering into the consciousness of Atlanta architects and being manifested in built works. The Edwards design adds a dynamism to the streetscape and corner and is highly successful.

Some depression-era Modern Classic forms continued to mark school entries, shape light fixtures, and accent walls with setback profiles or restrained classic piers as late as the late 1940s.…..

*Works Progress Administration - an organization put together under the New Deal to create jobs.

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