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Located on the Southern Arkansas University campus in Magnolia, Arkansas, Cross Hall and Nelson Hall are fine examples of the success of the New Deal projects of the 1930s.


  • Cross Hall located on the corner of Center Drive and N. Washington Street of Southern Arkansas University is a two-story, brick building. It was built in 1936 as a boy’s dormitory. Its flat, built-up tar roof and raised brick parapet are supported upon br
  • Nelson Hall is located on the corner of East Lane Drive and Center Drive of Southern Arkansas University. It is a two-story, brick building designed in the Art Deco Style. It was built in 1936 as a girl’s dormitory. Its flat, built-up tar roof and raised

Located on the Southern Arkansas University campus in Magnolia, Arkansas, Cross Hall and Nelson Hall are fine examples of the success of the New Deal projects of the 1930s. Built at the same time in 1936 by the Public Works Administration, Cross Hall was designed as a boy’s dormitory and Nelson Hall was a girl’s dormitory. Both buildings have been moderately changed since their construction and it does alter the overall integrity of the buildings. Cross and Nelson Halls are both two-story, L-shaped, brick buildings that are Plain-Traditional with Colonial Revival and Collegiate Gothic influences. Both have a flat roof with a parapet made of tar built-up material. However, over time they functioned differently from each other.

The Cross and Nelson Hall Historic District encompasses two historic buildings on the campus of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas. Cross Hall and Nelson Hall were both built in 1936 by the Public Works Administration (PWA) as dormitories for boys and girls, respectively. They are two-story L-shaped brick buildings with Colonial Revival and Collegiate Gothic stylistic elements. Cross Hall has since been converted into classrooms and professors' offices; Nelson Hall now houses student services and the admissions office.
The two buildings were listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. They are the best-preserved of a small number of surviving PWA buildings in Magnolia.

This property is part of a working university.

Please check with the officials at Southern Arkansas University before going.

(870) 235-4000


National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service.