Taborian Hospital Project Update

Work on the restoration and renovation of Mound Bayou’s Taborian Hospital–slated to become the Taborian Urgent Care Center–is finally making visual progress after several months of planning and development.  The plywood is off the doors and some of the windows, in order for the environmental assessment and abatement teams to be able to see, and the hospital is cordoned.  The environmental assessment has been completed and they are currently doing abatement.

In the partner’s meeting last week, the architects–Canizaro, Cawthon, Davis out of Jackson–were present and it was exciting to sit at the table with them and hear updates and plans.  They will be surveying the building in the next few weeks, and plan to hire a high school student who is interested in architecture or engineering to assist with the survey.  I was impressed that they are supporting the spirit of the community’s vision to develop not only economically, but the community’s people and their skills.  One goal of the project is to use as many local residents as possible in any work that is done.

On a side note, the firm was established in 1938 by James T. Canizaro, who designed Oxford’s Flamingo Apartments, and a unique modernist city hall, which was demolished in the 70s, apparently because modernism did not fit the community’s cherished architectural styles.

There was an elderly gentleman standing under a shade tree just outside of the hospital as I pulled up.  I walked over to him and asked, “Did you ever think you would see this hospital open again?”  He said he did not, and that he “hoped they would do something useful with the building.”  I explained that the hospital was being renovated, and would re-open as a clinic within the next year, and that was why they were working in the building now.  He said he had been an ambulance driver for the hospital until shortly before it closed, and that as a young boy, he remembered when the hospital was built “during the early 40s.”  Would you be interested in sharing your story with us?   He said yes, so we will be working with him soon on the oral history project related to the Taborian and the Knights and Daughters of Tabor.  Can’t you visualize him backing the ambulance up to the unloading ramp?

The last three photographs were taken at the end of April, just as the environmental assessment had begun.  This picture was taken through the front door just prior to cordoning the building; entrance into the building is prohibited without permission and protective clothing and gear.   As work continues, so will the updates.



Categories: African American History, Delta, Historic Preservation, Hospitals, Mound Bayou, Renovation Projects

23 replies

  1. It’s great to see this coming back to life! Thanks for the update!

  2. You should come for the Founders’ Day Celebration during July 8-14 and see it in person!

  3. This is so exciting! I stopped by a few weeks ago and I’m overjoyed that this place is being saved from its decades of neglect.

  4. Good news like this is a great way to start the week! Extra kudos for focusing on building skills among the people of the community, and not just looking at buildings!

  5. I am thrilled that the project is in progress. I was born at Taborian Hospital and my father Dr E W Verner was a surgeon there. I know that my grandfather P M Smith, who was instrumental in founding the hospital, would be most proud. There is so much wonderful history here which must be preserved.

    • Absolutely agree about the importance of this preservation! I am not a professional preservationist, but it has been my privilege and joy to work with this community in the last year, and to learn about Mr. Smith, the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, and this community. I hope you are planning to come back during the 125th celebration in July, and/or the Homecoming/Gala in September.

    • Hello Dr. Edwina Verner,

      Currently, I am a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi and I am in the process of researching for my dissertation on the Taborian Hospital and the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. I am conducting interviews and I would greatly appreciate it if you would allow me the pleasure of interviewing you. If you are interested please email me your contact information at krsims@go.olemiss.edu.

    • Hello. I have a few questions for you. Please email me: kappadappadoo@yahoo.com

  6. Good luck to all involved.

  7. Thanks for sharing the update. Words can’t describe the feelings I have to see that this historic facility will be renovated and once again be available to serve the citizens of Mound Bayou and surrounding communities. Taborian Hospital has a rich history and it should be preserved for generations to come. Kudos to all who have worked and continue to work on this project.

  8. What a wonderful site to see plans on the way for this historical facility, which was a blessing to so many people. There are so many of us that can share memories of Taborian. Although, I want be able to share in the celebration in July my prayers with be with you.
    Rev. Oretha Parrish-Cross

  9. This is like the watching the “Phoenix” coming back to life from the ashes. It is truly a historic landmark for Mound Bayou and residents of the Delta. I had the opportunity to work at Taborian Hospital, my first job out of college, working for Dr. James Lowry. It was a very possitive launch to my professional life. What a blessing to know this facility will once again be a functional part of the community. Vernita Wimbish

    • I hope you will be able to come back for the 125th celebration and share some of your memories of your work there. There should be more visible progress by then as well.

    • Hello Ms. Vernita Wimbish,

      Currently, I am a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi and I am in the process of researching for my dissertation on the Taborian Hospital and the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. I am conducting interviews and I would greatly appreciate it if you would allow me the pleasure of interviewing you. If you are interested please email me your contact information at krsims@go.olemiss.edu.

  10. I am so encouraged to read the comments that are posted here. Our team is working hard to make this a reality and to support one of the most “impressive” towns in American history. Please visit the taborian-ms-project.org website for continued updates. And spread the word about the 125th — July 8-14, 2012 — that will feature a documentary done on Mound Bayou on the evening of Tuesday, July 10. By the way, there are still tables available for the Mayor’s Black Tie event on Saturday, July 14. SPREAD THE WORD

    • The trailer on the documentary can be seen on the City of Mound Bayou Official Facebook page. The full-length documentary will be worth the travel to Mound Bayou on the 10th, ya’ll. It will inspire you to see and hear the story from the perspective of those who lived the dream and are continuing the vision.

  11. Check out the City of Mound Bayou website or the new Taborian website, http://www.taborian-ms-project.org for more information on the 125th Celebration and the upcoming Taborian Gala/September Fest (September 1 & 2). And spread the word!

Trackbacks

  1. Abandoned Mississippi: Afro-American Sons and Daughters Hospital « Preservation in Mississippi
  2. MissPres News Roundup 1-13-2014 « Preservation in Mississippi

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