As you all no doubt know, May is Preservation Month. It is also Mother’s Day, and count this as fair warning to make your arrangements and avoid getting the infamous Mother’s guilt trip. But I digress. Below is a non-comprehensive list of activities planned for Preservation Month, and if you know of something going on in your town, please feel free to add it in the comments, along with relevant links, date and time.
First, there are at least two Jane’s Walks planned, one in the Fondren neighborhood in Jackson and another in Carthage. If you have been around MissPres since early on, you probably have heard of Jane Jacobs, who wrote the seminal call to preserve our urban spaces and neighborhoods, Death and Life of Great American Cities, back in the early 1960s when urban planners were telling everyone that newer was better and that old places needed to be torn down in favor of high-rise developments surrounded by green spaces (sound familiar?). In fact, Death and Life was the first Book Quotes series we ran here on MissPres, and you can catch up on that by starting with the first post in that series: Jane Jacobs on City Planning. Every year, Jacob’s work is remembered the first weekend in May with a slightly organized, mostly free-form effort called Jane’s Walks:
Jane’s Walk celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring their neighbourhoods and meeting their neighbours. Free walking tours held on the first weekend of May each year are led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. Since its inception in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk has expanded rapidly. In May of 2011, 511 walks were held in 75 cities in 15 countries worldwide.
The Fondren walk, hosted by MDAH architectural historian Jennifer Baughn, gets started Saturday at 9 AM at the old Schimmels parking lot across from University Medical Center:
Fondren’s history begins with establishment of the state’s insane asylum (now the University Medical Center) in the 1840s. Our funky neighborhood was its own independent streetcar suburb before being annexed into the City of Jackson. The Fondren walk will begin at the old Schimmel’s parking lot in the alley behind Sal & Mookies and proceed through the commercial district.
The Carthage walk, hosted by Carthage Main Street and Carthage Historic Preservation Commission, starts at 10 AM:
On Saturday May 5, at 10:00 a.m. at the Courthouse Square join Carthage Main Street and the Carthage Historical Preservation Commission for Jane’s Walk 2012. It’s a chance to remember our past and to cherish our future. An historical display will also be provided at the Chamber Center sponsored by Dancing Rabbit Genealogical and Historical Society.
If you’re in or near Jackson, you might be able to catch one or more of the MDAH popular History Is Lunch talks this month, all on the theme of historic preservation in Mississippi. These talks take place on Wednesday at noon and usually end promptly by 1:00 so that downtown workers can come on their lunch breaks.
- Wednesday, May 2, noon-1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Ken P’Pool talks about restoration projects on the Gulf Coast. For more information call 601-576-6998.
- Wednesday, May 9, noon–1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, Mississippi Arts Commission director Malcolm White presents “Southern Culture.” For more information call 601-576-6998.
- Wednesday, May 16, noon–1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, Robert P. Adams will discuss the Merci Train Car renovation. For more information call 601-576-6998.
- Wednesday, May 23, noon–1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, Todd Sanders will talk about project successes under the Tax Credit program. For more information call 601-576-6998.
- Wednesday, May 30, noon-1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, Architectural historian Jennifer Baughn talks about modern architects of Mississippi. For more information call 601-576-6998.
All of these events have been placed on the official MissPres Calendar, always easily available on the tab named “Calendar.”
I’m sure there are other happenings out there but so far I haven’t found them. Leave a comment if you know of an event in your community that the MissPres universe might find interesting. And if you don’t have any events this year, now is the time to start thinking about next May and ways you can talk to your community about its great historic places and neighborhoods and encourage their preservation.
Categories: Historic Preservation