Architect Chris Myers, who is a principal at the Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons architectural firm, has worked on a number of major projects in Jackson. But one of the most recent and significant, he says, was his work on the recently opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History, which CDFL designed with Eley Guild Hardy Architects and Dale Partners Architects.
"Working on the Two Museums these last three years has been the highlight of my career," Myers says. "It's been so fulfilling to work on something that represents such a big moment for our state, and my wife, Rachel, being hired as the museum's director last year made it even more special."
Myers, 39, grew up in Batesville, Miss., and attended South Panola High School. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor's degree in architecture in 2001. The last year of his architecture program took place in Jackson, which is what he says led to him move to the city and taking a job as an intern architect with CDFL after graduating. He became one of nine principals, or part owners, of the firm in spring 2017.
Besides the city's high concentration of architecture firms, Myers decided to stay here for another reason: "... [W]hat really got me after being here was the art and creative scene in Jackson. I met so many artistic people doing so many things here, and I felt an energy I'd never experienced before that made me feel like this was the place I needed to be," the Fondren resident says.
In 2005 he began volunteering with the annual Crossroads Film Festival, helping coordinate events, and also helped both the event and local artists with art direction and film selection. Myers served as co-director of the Crossroads Film Festival with Nina Parikh from 2011 to 2012.
Myers met his wife, Rachel Jarman Myers, in 2008 at a Shelby Sifers concert at the now-closed 121 Studios in midtown. In 2009, the couple moved to Dallas, Texas. The couple returned to Jackson in 2010 and later married in 2012. They have a 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Eli.
Myers said that the most important thing Jackson residents can do to improve their community is to be willing to take matters into their own hands whenever they can. "If you see a problem in your city, it's your job to make things happen," Myers says. "If you see an organization that needs help, use your talents to help and make your city a better place."