Gamwyn Park Historic District

Greenville City, Washington County, MS

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1147 West Gamwyn Park Drive

Gamwyn Park [&dagger'] is a residential neighborhood in a park-like setting with thirty lots from the original plat and three additional lots added later along Gamwyn Park Drive establishing a contiguous and cohesive area of residences. Two of the lots remain vacant of structures and are presently for sale. Configuration of the subdivision is essentially one loop with an entrance drive at the north and a secondary access drive at the south. The curvilinear street design enhances the placement of the house sites. Lots with existing residences generally average a half-acre in size with several larger lots in the two-acre range. House sizes range in scale from two thousand square foot, one-story dwellings to five thousand or more square foot, two-story estate houses. All lots and residences are maintained in good to excellent condition.

Most of the dwellings are one-and-a-half story with approximately the same number of full two-story houses as there are one-story houses. The four largest houses seem to anchor the neighborhood with one each on East Gamwyn, South Gamwyn, West Gamwyn and North Gamwyn. The four anchoring houses have distinct styles differing from each other and from the other dwellings in Gamwyn Park.

Building of the houses took place from 1926-1998 with twenty of the houses built before the end of World War II. Approximately 80% of those had detached garages, which also makes a statement of the period since the automobile was considered a luxury and the garage was placed away from the main house as an outbuilding.

The progression of building was concentrated on the south side of South Gamwyn Drive before 1934 with six lots available and five houses on them. Building was not intended for the inner circle initially but due to the high demand lots were divided and sold. Three houses on the south side of North Gamwyn's inner circle were completed in 1950-1953. West Gamwyn did not develop to a large degree until 1940.

Gamwyn Park subdivision is the culmination of an idea of Mary L. Gamble and Margaret B. Wynn to build an exclusive suburban subdivision of thirty lots. The lots were to be sold for $10.00 per front foot and the minimum building value of each home was to be at least $5000.00. A recorded map of the subdivision set the date of dedication to the city of Greenville as September 13,1926, with George F. Archer listed as engineer. The area was well east of the river on slightly higher ground less likely to be affected by the moods of the river.

The subdivision was laid out with a rambling, circular drive forking and meandering to the left and right after a long entry drive much in the style of a Victorian picturesque garden at the turn of the century. Small triangular medians (containing plantings and directional signs) were located at each directional turn. The layout provides the element of surprise as one navigates each triangular median and rounds the bend to the next group of dwellings. Some residents recall that the entry drive, turning east off Main Street across from the Greenville Cemetery and just west of the Jewish Cemetery, had square, brick pillars with an iron panel arched between the pillars with the name, "Gamwyn Park," cast in the ironwork spanning the two lane entry road.

The long entry drive crossed undeveloped areas that were later developed as parts of surrounding neighborhoods. Three lots along the entrance drive (Gamwyn Park Drive) were later annexed as part of the Gamwyn Park Association.

Construction of houses in the subdivision had just begun when work was halted by the devastating Flood of 1927. Early on the morning of April 21,1927, the levee broke at Mounds Landing sending torrents of raging waters through the gap, engulfing much of the Delta region. At some points more than ten feet of water covered what had been homes, businesses, and rich farmland. Waters did not recede until late June, two months after the break in the levee, leaving in its wake dead animals, destroyed buildings, and thick layers of mud. Despite the vast destruction, Greenville was quick to recover.

Adapted From: Letrtia Parham Wright. Gamwyn Park Historic District, nomination document. 2003, National Park Service, Mational Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Street Names
Gamwn Park Drive East • Gamwn Park Drive South • Gamwn Park Drive West • Gamwyn Park Drive • Gamwyn Park Drive North


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