The J.W. Cutrer house at 109 Clark Street in Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi was designated as a Mississippi Landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History in 2005. The house, and the Cutrer family who lived here, have some interesting connections to American literature, having been used by Tennessee Williams as the inspirational source of several characters and locations in Williams’ plays.
Big Daddy’s house in A Streetcar Named Desire is believed to have been modeled on the J.W. Cutrer house. Tennessee Williams’ characters Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Carole Cutrere in Orpheus Descending are believed to have been based on Blanche Clark Cutrer.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has placed a marker on the site, which reads:
“J.W. CUTRER HOUSE – Built in 1916, this Italian style villa was designed by Memphis architect Bayard Cairnes and was the home of local attorney J.W. Cutrer and his wife Blanche Clark Cutrer, daughter of Clarksdale founder John Clark. It is known locally as the Cutrer Mansion. The Cutrers and their home inspired character names and settings in several works by celebrated playwright Tennessee Williams. The Cutrer House was designated as a Mississippi Landmark in 2005.”
The photo below shows the J.W. Cutrer house and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History marker viewed from the front lawn off Clark Street.
The photo below shows the Clark Street frontage of the J.W. Cutrer house.
Here’s the trailer to the 1951 film of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.
Here’s a video of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire performed by the New Renaissance Players
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