Ok, while our friends in Greenville work on unraveling the mysterious funding structure of the South Delta Regional Housing Authority, let’s look around the state for historic preservation news, hopefully of a better sort than demolitions . . .
July 11, 2009: Here’s something fun from the Hattiesburg American in its article “10 Pine Belt Women to vie for Miss Mississippi crown” in which it is noted of one contestant:
Rachael Shannon, 23, Miss Deep South, of Byram is a 2008 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She is an interior designer with the Newk’s Franchise Co. in Jackson. Her platform is the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Men of Mississippi! Our beauty queen has to leave the state to study preservation! Is there any better argument for starting a preservation program at one of our fine local instutions? Good luck to Rachael Shannon and here’s hoping she returns to her native Mississippi to put her degree to use here.
July 14, 2009: A post at the blog Creative Spirits about the ghost stories at “McRaven” (Bobb House) in Vicksburg, built around 1836 and listed on the National Register in1978.
The Continuous Steel Through Truss Bridge was opened in 1940 and has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials say the new bridge crossing the river is nearing completion and the old bridge must be removed.
Um, at the risk of once again seeming like an old stick in the mud, I think that MDOT must have been thinking of another word than “preserve.” Or do they have the same definition as the owners of the Speed Street School in Vicksburg who spun their demolition by calling it preservation? I admit the new bridge is beautiful. You can see images of it at http://www.greenvillebridge.com/
July 15, 2009: The Laurel Leader Call says “Public input wanted in downtown Laurel revitalization“:
Laurel Express, the local Main Street Program, and the Mississippi Main Street Association will be hosting a Downtown Laurel Revitalization Workshop next week. Jacqueline Lee, director of Laurel Express, said the local Main Street Program will be hosting the state representatives as a part of the week-long revitalization workshop
July 16, 2009: A follow-up article in the Delta Democrat Times to the Finlay House demolition, noting that the City did, in fact, give a demolition permit and quoting city officials as saying that they have no way to know whether a building is listed on the National Register. Here’s a magic link where you can type in the state and city and get a list. I’m sure that MDAH would also be able to provide a list, or the local preservation commission could work on that for you.
News from the Grapevine: Unconfirmed rumor has it that HRI, the development company that is partnered with Deuce McAllister and David Watkins to renovate the King Edward Hotel and the Standard Life Building, wants a permit from the City of Jackson to demolish two historic buildings in the West Capitol Street Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While HRI is receiving huge federal and state tax credits for its work on the King Edward and the Standard Life, they apparently want to tear down these buildings to create a vacant lot or maybe a parking lot (have they forgotten they have a big parking garage attached to their building?). Jackson does have several locally designated historic districts (Belhaven, Farish Street, etc.), but I don’t believe that there are any downtown districts that are protected on the local level. More on this if and when this is verified.
July 16, 2009: Was I the only one surprised to hear that Chicago’s Sears Tower was being re-named the Willis Tower? Read all about it at the Chicago Tribune (still headquartered, I hope, in the Tribune Tower?) and from the blog “Cityscape” the question “Would New York let this happen to the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings?” This too shall pass. I’ll still call it Sears Tower–Free Speech trumps Almighty Dollar.
And now for the biggest news of all! We’ll have another exciting contest next week to test the knowledge of all you Mississippi architecture lovers out there! Since hardly anyone voted in the poll about what time of day the contest should be posted, the 6 AMers won handily. Be here Monday morning bright and early (actually, I’ll post at 6:30–why? just because . . .) to see who will be our next Mississippi Preservationist Extraordinaire!