The Mansion Gets a Makover

The Robert O. Wilder Building, Building, commonly known as “the Mansion”, stands on the campus of historic Tougaloo College, as a restoration project in progress. It is the only original structure that remains from the site that was once the John W. Boddie slave plantation, and has been the site of Tougaloo College since its founding in 1869 by the American Missionary Association.

The original antebellum residence, separate kitchen and farm buildings formed the center of what was initially known as Tougaloo University.

Completed around 1860, the antebellum home, designed by renowned architect Jacob Larmour, and known historically as the John W. Boddie House, serves as a fine example of Italianate architecture. Once standing as a symbol of southern aristocracy and human oppression, it now sits in a prominent location at both the highest point and the center of the campus. The significance of this building encompasses more than its depiction of an architectural style or its representation of the Old South. “The Mansion” is designated as a Mississippi Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It once served as the residence of the College’s first president, the first classrooms and later, dormitory for faculty and students. Prior to the restoration phase, the Mansion housed the President’s office and other administrative offices.   >> Read more on Page 22 of Tougaloo Magazine