After the Statewide Conference at the end of April, we had a couple of stories highlighting winners of the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s Heritage Awards – but unless you’ve gone to MHT’s website, you have not gotten the full list of award winners.
With permission from our friends at MHT, here is the full list of winners – including a little bit of information about the projects and people involved. To see full information for each project, head over to the MHT site.
AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE FOR RESTORATION/REHABILITATION:
123 Seal Avenue
Owner: Steve and Elizabeth Wittman
Contractor: Don Scott of Blue Skies Contracting
Bay St. Louis City Hall
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Owner: City of Bay St. Louis
Architect: Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
Bayside Village Senior Apartments or Old Pascagoula High School
Owner: Steve Nail – Intervest Corporation
Hinds County Courthouse
Owner: Hinds County
Architect: Canizaro Cawthon Davis
Owner: City of Magnolia
Architect: Belinda Stewart Architects, P. A.
Meridian City Hall
Owner: City of Meridian
Architect: B.B. Archer
Contractor: Panola Construction Co.
Owner: Charles and Anita Price
Architect: Albert & Associates
AWARDS OF MERIT FOR RESTORATION/REHABILITATION:
139 Seal Avenue
Owner: Dennis and Nanette Burke
Cohen Brothers Building
Owner: Gowan Brisby
Owner: City of Collins
Architect: Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
Harris Brothers Hardware Building and N.M. Bradford Building
Owner: Mike and Bettye Forster
Mississippi State University, Mississippi
Owner: Mississippi State University
Architect: Belinda Stewart Architects, P. A.
Montgomery McGraw PLLC Building
Owners: C.R. Montgomery and Don A. McGraw Jr.
Architect; Joseph Orr
Contractor: Jodie Morgan
Owner: City of Biloxi
Architect: Dale Partners
Wilkinson Stagecoach – Bible Cottage
Owner: Christal Jenkins
Contractor: Structural Solutions
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESERVATION EDUCATION & MEDIA
Preservation in May Program
This award is given to projects which help inform people of the value of preservation and help preserve historic sites across the state through educational materials or through the use of media. In celebration of local preservation and to educate the community about its cultural history, a partnership of public and private organizations in Biloxi comes together each May during National Preservation Month to put on an outstanding roster of programs.
MHT/MAAHPC AWARD EXCELLENCE IN AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESERVATION
Student Exchange Tour: Tallahatchie-Neshoba County Civil Rights Tour and Brochure
Tallahatchie and Neshoba Counties, Mississippi
The Tallahatchie County Board of Supervisors established the Emmett Till Memorial Commission for the purpose of fostering racial harmony and reconciliation as wells as to tell the important story of the murder of Emmett Till along with the subsequent trial of his accused murders Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam in 1955 in the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi. The Commission and the Tallahatchie County Parks and Recreation Department worked together with Neshoba County and each of the school districts in those counties to expand the current Tallahatchie County Historic Sites bus tour to 9th- 12th graders from both areas so they could learn more about the civil rights struggle in Mississippi and the role that the two counties played in bringing the movement to the attention of the world. Students from Neshoba County and Tallahatchie County traveled to each county to tour the respective historic sites, listened to speakers at each site and wrote Pre & Post- tour essays. The tour was so successful in broadening the understanding of the student’s civil rights knowledge that the group has decided to hold the tour again this year and include additional counties.
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE STEWARDSHIP OF HISTORIC SITES
- Mobile and Ohio Railroad Depot – Aberdeen
Save Aberdeen Landmarks and City of Aberdeen
The Mobile and Ohio Railroad Depot in Aberdeen is the oldest known train depot in Mississippi dating to 1857; however, even with that status it fell into neglect. That and a lack of money to properly restore the building landed it on the 10 Most Endangered list in 2007. The City owns the building and never wanted to demolish it, it just did not have the resources to restore the building. That is where Save Aberdeen Landmarks came into the picture. The non-profit organization works to restore and refurbish historic structure not only in downtown Aberdeen but in the surrounding area as well. Together with the city they developed a plan to get the stabilization and restoration of the depot underway by breaking down the project into manageable phases. The Landmarks group coordinated volunteers and donated materials to help with the project. The city applied for and received three Certified Local Government Grants from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History over a period of years to help fund each phase. The first phase stabilized the building, the second installed a new roof, and the third completed the exterior restorations with window repairs and painting. Not resting a bit the city and Save Aberdeen’s Landmarks are working on the interior of the building and developing plans for its new use once completed.
- Ocean Springs Community Center – Ocean Springs
City of Ocean Springs
The Colonial Revival style Ocean Springs Community Center was finished in 1948. Its unassuming concrete block exterior tells little about the significance of the interior. From 1951-1952, local artist Walter Anderson covered almost every space of the interior walls,
including baseboards, trim, and electrical outlets, with a fantastical mural depicting the “seven seasons” of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in his own famously distinctive style. Anderson’s style was not generally appreciated at the time, and he actually left the mural
unfinished because of criticism. He was paid $1.00 for the work, which is now valued in the millions. Problems with the Community Center over the years including leaks and damage from storms necessitated that something be done in order to protect the murals created by Anderson. The City of Ocean Springs embarked on an extensive project to repair the building and restore the murals. The project began with roof work, exterior painting and sealant, as well as drainage, and installation of storm windows. In 2011, the City began work on the interior including new HVAC, addition of sprinklers, new lights, and a glass railing in front of the murals. By far the most important work was the restoration of the murals themselves. Art conservator Patty Kamm completed the mural restoration which was a multi-tiered process carried out over a period of several months. The conservation treatment will ensure that the murals are in a stable and secure condition and preserved for the future.
MDAH/MHT AWARD FOR HISTORIC DISTRICT PRESERVATION:
City of Biloxi
This award recognizes the preservation efforts by a community to protect or develop historic districts. Since Hurricane Katrina the City of Biloxi has made a conscious effort to restore and rehabilitate what remains of numerous city-owned historic buildings in a large part to reassure its citizens that Biloxi’s history and culture had not been lost. In the past seven years they have worked to restore the city owned historic landmarks including: the Biloxi Lighthouse, Old Brick House, Magnolia Hotel, Biloxi City Hall, Glen Swetman House, Sanger Theater, Creole Cottage and even moved the Slay House to a new location to save it from demolition. The City has also actively supported the MDAH Katrina Grant program which has worked to save numerous buildings in Biloxi’s historic districts through the program. The City has also promoted historic preservation through initiatives like the Local Landmark Program which identifies locally significant historic buildings with distinct bronze plaques, a Preservation Awards program every other year to recognize property owners who have worked to preserve Biloxi’s historic resources, and they have implemented ongoing programs that recognize and encourage commercial and residential rehabilitation projects that preserve historic places in Biloxi. All of this effort is attracting renewed interest in preservation-based redevelopment of the historic places which has not only saved those places but has helped provide economic development to the city.
AL & LIBBY HOLLINGSWORTH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
Sam Kaye, Columbus
Sam Kaye has been a great champion for the preservation of historic sites not only in his hometown of Columbus, but throughout the state of Mississippi! Since 1974, he has operated his architecture firm in Columbus with special emphasis on community planning and historic preservation. He has worked across the state on preservation projects bringing back to life historic buildings ranging from residential, commercial, educational, and institutional, all of different sizes and complexity. His firm also worked on putting numerous historic districts and sites on the National Register of Historic Places across the state. Since 1994 Sam has served as Staff Consultant to the Mississippi Main Street Association and has served as Director of Design Services helping to enhance historic downtowns across the state. Not only has Sam been involved in preservation on the local and state level, he has also devoted countless hours of service to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as an Advisor and in many leadership capacities. His involvement with historic preservation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation led to the establishment of the Mississippi Heritage Trust in 1992 with a group of volunteers who decided that a statewide non-profit organization was needed to help promote the preservation of the state’s historic places. He was chairman of the Steering Committee and served as the first President of the organization. Under his leadership and work with the Mississippi Heritage Trust it has grown into the successful organization that it is today with programs like the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places and the Heritage Awards. Former Governor William Winter said “I know of no architect who has done more to develop a public appreciation of historic preservation than has Sam Kaye.”