February flew by – and now that it’s March, we’ll expect to start seeing news about Spring Pilgrimages and other festivals in historic downtowns popping up around the state. I didn’t see any of these stories this week, but here’s what I did find:
Down in Hattiesburg, they are still in damage assessment / repair mode from the February 10 tornado. The latest story is about the African-American Military Museum (6th Street USO), where they have launched a “Rise Up & Rebuild Campaign” to help with over $1 million in damages they have already estimated. Those damage costs are evenly split between the damages to the building itself and the museum’s collection. Besides the stories, you can find out more information about donating to the repair of the historic USO at their website.
A fun story from Gulfport where their historic train depot is re-opening as a shopping destination. The official grand reopening will be on March 7 and two businesses are already in the 1904 Depot. Prior to a half a million dollar rehab by the city on the structure, there had been a museum and restaurant. I think that making more of a retail center is a creative re-use and I hope they fill the spaces!.
Speaking of renovation celebrations – the Lawrence County Civic Center (which I’m fairly certain is the old Monticello Consolidated School), held a ribbon cutting after the work done with the aide of a Community Heritage Grant was completed. The article notes that the CHPG funds (which are from our friends at MDAH), helped with second floor restoration of the auditorium floor.
Our friends on the Starkville Historic Preservation Commission have adopted Design Review Guidelines for potential historic districts in the community. It also sounds like they are recommending to the Board of Aldermen the designation of three local historic districts where these guidelines will be applied. Proposing local districts can stir a lot of press, so we’ll keep an eye on news from the city to see how it goes for them (but I am hoping all goes well for them!).
Finally, Vicksburg Military Park is the subject of some discussion in Washington, D.C. where our Senators have once again proposed a bill that would allow the park to be expanded to include areas of the Vicksburg campaign in Port Gibson, Raymond, and Jackson (Champion Hill). The story only notes that the legislation has been reintroduced – nothing about when we might hear more about it being acted on. As usual, we’ll keep an eye on this one and share any new information as we find it!
Categories: African American History, Civil War, Cool Old Places, Disasters, Grants, Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Jackson, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, National Park Service, News Roundups, Port Gibson, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Preservation People/Events, Raymond, Renovation Projects, Starkville, Vicksburg