Greater Belhaven: Jackson, Mississippi


Greater Belhaven comprises two historic neighborhoods, Belhaven Heights and Belhaven. The history of these neighborhoods reflects the history of America.

Designated Area

North end of Congress Street to Interstate 55, and from High Street to Woodrow Wilson Avenue.

Belhaven University. Photo by Roy Adkins.

Planning Excellence

Wealthy business owners built mansions in Greater Belhaven and encouraged their employees and civil servants to build cottages and bungalows. This eclectic mix of architecture remains today, drawing a diverse population to the neighborhood. The wide variety of architectural styles ranges from Georgian and Federalist to airy New Orleans-inspired designs, to ivy-covered bungalows and Italianate, Art Deco, and even a few modern accents.

Mississippi's most creative individuals have found their way to Greater Belhaven. Among the residents are celebrated writers, artists, and musicians. They are drawn to the neighborhood by its quiet ambiance, diverse architecture and, lovely green spaces. For those same reasons, top-level executives and professionals are also drawn to Greater Belhaven to work and live. Doctors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and university professionals all find common ground in this neighborhood.

Pinehurst Place House. Photo by Roy Adkins.

Defining Characteristics, Features


  • In 1875 most of Belhaven Heights was originally known as Moody Estate
  • A block of land was sold to Col. James S. Hamilton, who constructed a new home and named it Belhaven in honor of his ancestral home in Scotland
  • Greater Belhaven as it is known today, began as one of the original ring neighborhoods springing from downtown Jackson in the early 20th century
  • Belhaven Heights was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1983)
  • The Greater Belhaven Foundation was created (1999) to enhance, protect, and improve all areas of Greater Belhaven
  • Belhaven Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it the largest historic district in Mississippi with 1,306 contributing structures (2012)

Planning Accomplishments

  • Greater Belhaven became the first neighborhood in Jackson to tackle comprehensive rezoning since 1974, which resulted in the plan for a mixed-use district featuring fewer curb-cuts, wider sidewalks, and heavily landscaped parking lots (2005)
  • Greater Belhaven Foundation supported an amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance to allow the Fairview Inn to operate on a residential street in Belhaven
  • Historic Preservation Ordinance provides oversight of the historic districts of Belhaven and Belhaven Heights through the Jackson Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) (1996)
  • Design guidelines were developed for both Belhaven and Belhaven Heights to enable the JHPC to make decisions regarding historic properties (2002)
  • Comprehensive Development Plan was adopted 2002-2005; established three categories of mixed-use districts from neighborhood, community, to regional districts, resulting in major redevelopment that includes restaurants, retail, condominiums, and offices
  • Mixed-Use District along Fortification Street and along part of North State Street was adopted by the city, making it the first such district in Jackson (2005)
  • Baptist Health Systems opened The Belhaven, an 180,000 square-foot, $80 million mixed-use development providing medical offices, space for restaurants and shops, and 11 townhouses  (2013)
  • Belhaven Park underwent a $300,000 redesign to create a hub for community gatherings, performances, festivals, and exercise (2010)
  • Fortification Street Project, a road diet that reduced the number of travel lanes from four to three to allow for five foot sidewalks, decorative lighting, and a planting strip; the project is currently ongoing

Cultural and Community Amenities

  • Oaks House is the antebellum home of one of the earliest mayors of the city and one of the few structures to survive Sherman's burning of Jackson; the house features period furnishings and Victorian gardens that depict the life of a middle-class family in mid-19th century Jackson
  • Fairview Inn is the only AAA four-diamond, small luxury hotel in Jackson, located in a historic 1908 Colonial Revival mansion; one of the few architect-designed homes of that period remaining in the neighborhood
  • Welty House was the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty from 1925 until her death in 2001; it is one of the most intact literary houses in America in terms of authenticity
  • The English Village is a Tudor-style shopping center, home to McDade's Market; commercial hub of the neighborhood since 1929, previously housing a pharmacy, restaurant, dress shop, and post office over the years
  • New Stage Theatre is Jackson's only professional theater and Mississippi's only nonprofit professional theater; the theater was founded in 1965 and attracts more than 35,000 people each year to contemporary works and classics
  • Warehouse Theatre is owned and operated by New Stage; provides an alternative theater experience and attracts audiences interested in contemporary theater
  • The adjacent LeFleur Museum District brings together four museums, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Mississippi Children's Museum, Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, and Mississippi Museum of Natural Science  
  • Municipal Art Gallery is a beautiful antebellum home that was converted into a gallery to showcase the works of Mississippi artists
  • The neighborhood is home to two higher education institutions, Belhaven University and Millsaps College
  • The neighborhoods contains four parks: Belhaven Park, Laurel Street Park, Woodrow Wilson Park, and Belhaven Heights Park

New Stage Theater. Photo by Roy Adkins.


  • Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights is an annual end-of-summer event that features local artisans, five stages of live music ranging from blues to indie rock, a children's area, and food from local restaurants
  • Being Belhaven Arts Series features free music programs, theater, and art in the restored Belhaven Park