The Mississippi Industrial College was founded in 1905 by the Mississippi Conference of the Colored Methodist Church and classes began in 1906. The original campus was comprised of 120 acres given to the school by the citizens of Holly Springs, MS. The historically black college provided technical and vocational training to the African American community for 76 years. However, the college experienced shrinking student enrollment due in part to the end of segregation and increased competition from other institutions which had a wider array of degree options. The site and the five buildings therein were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 as the Mississippi Industrial College Historic District. Sadly, the college closed its doors in 1982. The campus has remained mostly unused and the buildings have fallen into disrepair. The preservation of the Mississippi Industrial College Historic District site will require feedback from community leaders, citizens of Holly Springs, former students, Rust College students, and anyone interested in preserving this piece of African American history. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.
In 1980 when the Mississippi Industrial College site was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places there were five buildings identified as historically significant: Carnegie Auditorium; Catherine Hall; Hammond Hall; Washington Hall; and Davis Hall. In 2012 Catherine Hall was demolished after the ceiling collapsed and was deemed unsafe to remain standing. The four remaining buildings are in various stages of decay and are in desperate need of restoration before they too are lost to time.
Carnegie Auditorium (1923): Is a two-and-half-story brick auditorium built in the Colonial Revival style that could seat 2,000. The building has special significance because until 1980 it was the largest auditorium space in Mississippi specifically for African American use. The building also contained a dining hall in the basement and classrooms in the two wings.
Hammond Hall (1907): Two-and-half-story brick dormitory building built in the Jacobean Revival style. Served as a temporary home of the Holly Springs Police Department in the '90s
Washington Hall (1910): Served as the administration building for Mississippi Industrial College. The two-and-half-story brick T-plan building built in the Colonial Revival style also provided additional classroom space.
Davis Hall (1950): Is a three-story cinder-block building that once housed the gymnasium. Work began in 1980 to convert to a Multi-learning center, the work remained unfinished at the time of the school's closure.