Natchez, Mississippi (Adams County)
Arlington was constructed circa 1818 by John Hampton White. The design of the house, while not documented, has been attributed to Levi Weeks, the architect of Auburn in Natchez. The Classical Revival style introduced to the Natchez region at Auburn was interpreted in a slightly different way at Arlington to create the second of the grand columned mansions for which Natchez is so well known. The finely-executed red brick exterior was ornamented with elaborate fanlights over the first and second floor entrances on the front and rear elevations, and marble window trim, porch floor and steps. The interior was also finely-detailed and is apparently the first appearance of a floor plan so often employed in Natchez mansions. The plan is composed of a grand central hall opening front to back, flanked by two rooms on each side, with the staircase located in a separate secondary hall between two of the flanking rooms. This plan is also seen at Rosalie (ca. 1820), Melrose (ca. 1845), and Stanton Hall (ca. 1857) among others.
Adding to Arlington’s architectural significance is the survival of its landscaped, park-like setting and much of its mid-nineteenth century interior decorative arts. In 1973, Arlington was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and due to its national significance, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974. It is one of 13 such designated properties in Natchez and one of only 39 in the entire state.
On September 17, 2002, a fire caused major damage to the house, destroying the roof and most of the second floor, including many of the fine antique furnishings and art. After the fire, as much of the interior furnishings and art work were salvaged as possible by volunteers. Due to the efforts of the Historic Natchez Foundation, shortly thereafter a new roof was installed on the house. Since then, the owner has done nothing else to save the house. It is still open to the elements, has suffered extensive vandalism, and continues to deteriorate with no plans to restore this architectural gem of Natchez.
2015 Update – No Progress
The building continues to deteriorate and the Historic Natchez Foundation continues to work with the city in an effort to get the house stabilized.