MissPres News Roundup 9-11-2009

Another Friday, another MissPres News Roundup, just like clockwork, even though I’ve had a long and arduous week.

This week’s featured song is “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen.”

August something: An article in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal  that I initially missed and which in Facebook-like fashion is dated “One Month Ago” tells of the possible creation of two new local historic districts in Tupelo. These districts–Highland Circle and North Broadway–would follow the boundaries of the long-established National Register historic districts of the same names and give them a much better level of protection from adverse alterations and development.

Sept. 1, 2009: Tom Barnes brought my attention to this article in last week’s Natchez Democrat, “St. Mary’s Buys Former FBC Building.” Since you all have perfect recall, I’m sure you remember my previous post “Demolition Permit for old Baptist Church in Natchez” a few months back. At that point, I had come to a disgruntled acceptance of the impending demise of this once-imposing church building so this new story doesn’t exactly come as a shock. According to the Democrat, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which occupies a large section of the block catty-corner to First Baptist Church, has now acquired the First Baptist Church:

“We weren’t seeking (the property) out, but it became available and was offered to us,” [Rev. David] O’Connor said.

St. Mary will submit a new application for demolition and landscape plan to the Natchez Preservation Commission, said Chairman Marty Seibert. Seibert added the commission will not review St. Mary’s request until its October meeting.

I guess it would be a fitting tribute to First Baptist if the property became a parking lot, even if it is a parking lot for a Catholic church. This whole ordeal with the Baptist church has been very discouraging, a succession of hopes dashed. Unfortunately, the previous owners, whether with good or bad intentions, removed so much of what was left of the building that, combined with the major roof/structural problems, it’s hard for preservationists to make any case anymore for the building’s integrity or worthiness of preservation. Very very sad–“disappointment” doesn’t begin to cover it.

Sept. 3, 2009: An article in the Greenwood Commonwealth, “Whitehead, Miller Collaborate on Postcard Book“:

“Greenwood” is a 128-page history of the city based on [Donny] Whitehead’s collection of 180 postcards and photos dating from 1900 and his extensive research of the town’s past. [Mary Carol] Miller, already the author of several books about Mississippi, wrote descriptions of the pictures.

This story also introduced me to a very cool website managed by author Donny Whitehead showing his extensive collection of historic postcards. Check it out at http://www.aboutgreenwoodms.com/ I’m also going to add this to the “Architectural Research” sidebar for future reference.

Sept. 3, 2009:Refurbished homes are a source of pride for pair” by Emily Le Coz of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports on an open house for two renovated houses in the Mill Village Historic District, a neighborhood surrounding the textile mills and adjoining the railroad tracks in Tupelo:

Pretty and pert in their fresh coats of paint, the one-story homes bear no resemblance to their former lives as dilapidated crack shacks behind Calvary Baptist Church.

Their transformation took two years and tens of thousands of dollars. It will require much more of both to rehab Mill Village, which once was the center of Tupelo’s cotton industry, but residents there say the two houses show what’s possible.

. . . .

And on Church Street, just [a] couple blocks to the west, several houses also boast newly remodeled looks after a recent wave of new investment to the area. The activity coincides with the city’s decision two years ago to designate the neighborhood a Local Historic District.

Sept. 9, 2009: A sweet little article about a sweet little bungalow in the Fondren neighborhood in this week’s Northeast Ledger section of the Clarion Ledger,One look at house and you know you’re home.” I’ve noticed this house many times as I’ve walked the neighborhood–it has an amazing front porch–check out the photo and you’ll fall in love with it. Plus, the owners didn’t feel the need to gut the house to create the mythical “dream home”–they even kept the aqua tile in the bathroom–how can you not love that? 

For the most part, the Rineharts only made cosmetic changes to the house. They did pull up the original linoleum from the kitchen floor, revealing a gorgeous dark wood “subfloor” underneath. A little sanding was all that was needed to give this room a perfect rustic feel. The built-in china cabinets also contribute to a delightfully retro mood.

Walking around the corner into a guest bathroom, this retro feel continues in a guest bathroom with the original aqua tile intact, as well as a sleek white pedestal lavatory that, while contemporary, evokes the designs of the 1940s.

Well, that’s all for me this week. Next week, I’ll give a little report on MHT’s 10 Most Event, which was very well-attended by lots of cool hip people such as myself. Some were even cooler than me.



Categories: Architectural Research, Books, Churches, Demolition/Abandonment, Greenwood, Natchez, Tupelo

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