New Orleans, LA
After learning of the disasterous fate of Arlington, I decided to visit the ruins and, hopefully, shine a spotlight on this significant architectural masterpiece, which may not survive.
Arlington was constructed in approximately 1819 for John Hampton White and his wife, Jane Surget White. Mr. White lived in the home only a short time, dying in the yellow fever epidemic on October 15, 1819. Mrs. White survived only until 1825. It is considered by architectural historians to be one of four important Federal Style villas which established the basic form for the later antebellum houses of Natchez.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and following a fire which occurred in 2002, it was placed on the list of 10 most endangered historic places by the Mississippi Heritage in 2009. Through the efforts of the Historic Natchez Foundation, a new roof was constructed shortly after the fire in an attempt to save the building. However, the absentee owner has continued to neglect the place, was sued by the Natchez Preservation Commission in 2009 and convicted of demolition by neglect. Arlington has been subsequently further destroyed by vandals.
This information was obtained by a combination of internet research, interviews with local historians, and a personal exploration of the property. I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the fate of this magnificent architectural masterpiece, and consider the significance of its loss.
August 18th, 2012
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