They say it never rains but it pours. They also say it never rains in Southern California, so why did it sprinkle last time I was there? At any rate, Jackson isn’t exactly known for its plethora of architecture-highlighting events. Don’t ask me why, but it’s not because Jackson is bereft of good architecture. So we’ve been going along with hardly anything to keep us occupied and off the streets, when all the sudden, we have three events that will appeal to all architecture-lovers and budding preservationists in Mississippi.
1. As I’ve mentioned before, the Mississippi Historical Society’s annual meeting starts TONIGHT with a reception at the National Historic Landmark Governor’s Mansion and continues with interesting, some might say riveting talks about the history of historic preservation in Mississippi. The conference continues all through Friday and into Saturday morning, and includes a tour of the Eudora Welty House. Be there or be, like, totally square.
2. Millsaps College is offering two courses for your continuing education:
Architectural History of Mississippi
Cost: $65; Tues., April 7-21, 6:00-7:30 p.m.; 3 weeks.
Instructor: Todd Sanders
This new course will be a detailed discussion of the architectural history of the state of Mississippi. Beginning with the earliest surviving structures of the first permanent inhabitants, 1699-1800, the instructor will follow that with the arrival of high style architecture, 1800-1875. Next, he will discuss the years during which Mississippi moved toward the mainstream, 1875-1945. The last lecture will focus on Mississippi’s participation in the modern movement in American architecture since World War II. A brief discussion of the historic preservation movement and where it is today in Mississippi will also be included.
Heritage resources are the physical remains and oral traditions of past human activities. They include archaeological sites, historic structures, archival records, oral traditions and landscapes. Learn more about these resources and how you can help preserve them. Discussions will include the National Register of Historic Places, preservation ordinances, historic landscapes and cemeteries, oral history projects, and the preservation of historic photographs and other written materials.
3. Last but not least, the Mississippi AIA is sponsoring a lecture series and exhibit called “Mississippi Celebrates Architecture.” Five lectures will be held over the next 5 Thursday evenings in Jackson (beginning tonight) that sound stimulating and appropriately artsy. In conjunction with the lectures, a dual exhibit of Mississippi’s 12 Favorite Buildings, as voted in an online poll the AIA conducted in 2007, and America’s Favorite Architecture will be opening at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion (where the Mississippi Museum of Art used to be) on Saturday, March 7 and running through April 11. (You wouldn’t believe the amount of research I had to do to put this #3 together, clicking around all over the internet–isn’t it nice to have all the information in one handy place?)
One of Mississippi’s 12 Favorite Buildings is St. Richard’s Catholic Church, right here in Jackson. You might be wondering how this incredibly modern church tucked away on a side street came to be in such illustrious company as Longwood and the Old Capitol. Well, it’s the power of the internet combined with the passion of an unknown but brilliant person at St. Richard’s–they put a link to the MS AIA website on their church website and said, “Click here to vote for St. Richard’s.” I guess it could be considered gaming the system, but I love that someone had such an inspiration and wanted their church to be on that list.
The long and not-so-short of this post is that regardless of whether you’re an artsy architecture guy all in black or a proper historical type with elbow patches, you should find something in the next month to interest you and stop any and all whining about nothing to do in Jackson.