The Cotton District
The Cotton District is a housing development that primarily functions as student and faculty housing for Mississippi State University. The district is located adjacent to the university campus, making it an easily accessible area for students and faculty alike. The district was once the site of a large cotton mill, the area's historical namesake. Adjacent to the cotton mill was an area that contained houses for workers and their families, shops, and even schools, giving the area a unique history of both agriculture and economic development. The transformation of the community into a housing and shopping district represents the urban development of an area that still references the culture of the historic deep south in its architectural style.
Backstory and Context
The Cotton District gets its name from the historic cotton mill that existed on the land before the housing development. The cotton mill was built in 1926 by the Sanders family, and through its development, houses for workers were added. These houses were located on 25 by 100 feet lots and consisted of very few rooms. When the cotton mill was in full production, the land grew to include stores, schools, and churches to accommodate the workers and their families. The cotton mill shut down in 1964 after scaling back production in the previous years. The majority of the houses were in need of repair, resulting in the district being included in plans for urban renewal across the City of Starkville.
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