March is almost upon us – and the MissPres calendar has all the events that are “Springing” up around the state. One to add to the calendar is the Loose Caboose Festival in Newton – which is this Saturday.
And now the rest of the news:
Up in Tupelo, the possibility of having a “waiting period” between application for and the approval of demolitions continues to be discussed. According to the WTVA story, “The city wants to prevent disagreements between property owners and historic preservation supporters.” This story continues ones that we’ve included in some recent roundups regarding the latest properties threatened with demolition in the city. Right now, the Tupelo Preservation Commission is in a reactive mode when it comes to protecting historic structures, but this most recent story indicates that they’re looking at doing a survey of historic resources soon. Hopefully, this will make things easier for the Commission in the long term.
Staying up in the Northeast – two stories out of Columbus regarding the old river bridge. The city was accepting bids on the project – which has been in the planning since 2006. The estimated $2.5 million project will renovate the old Highway 82 bridge to be part of the planned Columbus Riverwalk. According to the article, the plan is to turn it into a pedestrian walkway. Two bids did come in, but City officials need to talk them over with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration before making a decision. This second story indicated that the project budget was $2.2 million – and both bids were over that cost. A decision should be made soon once all the parties discuss the bids.
Moving to Natchez, the Democrat had a story about Watkins Street Cemetery recently. Watkins Street Cemetery is the final resting place of almost two dozen veterans and the victims of the Rhythm Night Club fire. The Worthy Women of Watkins Street group, which has taken over most of the upkeep of the site, is seeking assistance to help keep the grounds maintained. Information on how to donate (time or funds) is in the article.
Over the past 18 months or so, archeologists have been working with NPS to study an area of Vicksburg National Cemetery that was discovered to have unmarked graves. The Clarion Ledger reports that 13 previously unmarked graves were found, but it is doubtful that they will be able to ID the remains. Right now, the graves are marked with temporary flags until new headstones arrive for them. The story also made the National Parks Traveler website – which is much more like a magazine article feature. This piece has a lot more background on the Cemetery and includes a link to the full report. If you want to skip the article and just read the report – you should be able to get it here.
In Meridian, the story is that the newly renovated City Hall is in full operation. According to the article, City Council held its first meeting in the new chambers and discovered “a few small problems” but otherwise things went smoothly. The “problems” reported were “a squeaky automatic window shade and a little difficulty hearing in the large, high-ceilinged room.” Hopefully, these (and any other) small “problems” are more a question of adjusting to the being in the newly renovated space rather than being actual, long-term “problems” that need to be addressed.
Down in Hattiesburg, the American featured Hattiesburg High’s gym in their latest “Then & Now” images. The brief snippet says that it was laid out to Olympic proportions and never “shortened.” The page includes a photo slide show of other buildings they’ve featured.
Categories: Preservation People/Events, Demolition/Abandonment, Historic Preservation, Cool Old Places, Hattiesburg, Columbus, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Vicksburg, Natchez, Tupelo, News Roundups, Newton