The Cotton District

Architecture Here and There

The Cotton District, in Starkville, Miss. (This and all photos below by Sara Hines) The Cotton District, in Starkville, Miss. (This and all photos below by Sara Hines)






Not sure how this place eluded my classical radar, but Starkville, Mississippi, home of Mississippi State, has a neighborhood called the Cotton District, between the downtown of the city of 23,000 and its university campus. Wikipedia calls it the nation’s first New Urbanist district, but it was conceived by Dan Camp, a former shop teacher, 20 years before the Congress of the New Urbanism was chartered, and at least 15 years before the development of Seaside, Florida – long considered the first New Urbanist town.

Dan Camp, according to this history of the Cotton District on its website, started building on a shoestring for students (also mostly living on a shoestring), and ended up with a lovely, thriving place that I feel embarrassed never to have heard of. He eventually became mayor of Starkville for a…

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About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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