And here is the news.
Calhoun City’s urban renewal efforts continue. According to the March 25 edition of The Calhoun County Journal, the structure I mentioned in the last News Roundup on the corner of Main St. and Taylor Ave. was razed by the Square PEG. The site will become a “‘park-like’ space with plantings and seating” one block from the Calhoun City Square, which is a “‘park-like space’ with plantings and seating.” Unfortunately, it appears the scope of their demolitions has expanded; the article states that the Square PEG will try and resolve the issue concerning “buildings” on the northeast corner of the square.
The Clarion-Ledger ran an article recently on the redevelopment of Farish Street, “Farish Street work beginning to take shape.” I do not know everything about the redevelopment, so I will leave commenting to more knowledgeable MissPres-ers. I do remember that the late Frank Melton, if he had his way, would have leveled Farish St. and put the rubble next to the King Edward Hotel rubble. Hopefully the current Farish St. redevelopment will not wantonly demolish buildings that can be restored.
The Columbus Dispatch ran two interesting stories in the Sunday, March 28 paper. The first story concerned the history of streetcars in Columbus, “The first streetcars in Columbus.” Columbus streetcars had a short lifespan, existing on Columbus’s urban landscape for only two decades. I have been in Columbus during rush hour and would welcome the return of streetcars. Public transportation is an area, one of many, where Mississippi and the rest of the South has lagged behind other sections of the nation. The second article pertains to the 70th annual Spring Pilgrimage in Columbus, which begins on Monday, April 5 and runs until Saturday, April 17. According to the article, “Rites of Spring,” several houses from the first pilgrimage in 1940 are rejoining the pilgrimage, including Riverview, Hamilton Hall, Rosewood Manor, Shadowlawn, Snowdoun, Temple Heights, Twelve Gables, White Arches, and Whitehall.
On Wednesday, March 24, The Itawamba Times reported an update about the Cates-Gaither House in Fulton. The article “Gaither House must be saved” details efforts of the group Preserving Itawamba County Heritage (PICH) to relocate the house. Fulton United Methodist Church, which owns the Cates-Gaither House since it was bequeathed to them for use as a parsonage, needs the site for future growth. The church is allowing PICH to raise funds to relocate the house to another site on Main St., also offered to the group by the church. PICH has raised $9,810 of the estimated $20,000 relocation cost. The Cates-Gaither House, also referred to as The Cedars, dates to 1859, originally constructed as a four-room dogtrot by the Cates family. The Cates-Gaither House is one of the few remaining Antebellum structures in Itawamba County and while one article refers to the house as “unlivable,” it definitely needs to be preserved. To update everybody on the full story of the Cates-Gaither House’s relocation saga, here are articles from last June, July, November, and February. I would like to thank The Itawamba Times for keeping a great free online archive.
The Mississippi Press published the article “Saving Scranton” on Wednesday, March 17. This article details the restoration efforts that are to be undertaken in the next few months on the Scranton Museum, a 1970s shrimp boat located in Pascagoula. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources recently awarded a $60,000 tidelands grant, with no matching funds required, to repair the boat. The Scranton Museum opened in 1981 and stayed in operation until 1998 when it closed due to damage received from Hurricane Georges. Hurricane Georges, although overshadowed in scale by Hurricane Katrina, destroyed the landmark Round Island Lighthouse near Pascagoula and damaged other structures. Since Hurricane Georges, the Scranton Museum has been parked on land at River Park, where it will remain as the grant would have to be renegotiated if the boat were moved. After the repairs, the Scranton Museum will be reopened to the public by appointment with scheduled operating hours to hopefully follow as the public becomes more interested in the museum.
The Monroe Journal reported that Amory historian Arch Dalrymple III passed away on Monday, March 15. According to MDAH Director Emeritus Elbert Hilliard, Dalrymple began serving on the Board of Trustees at the MDAH in 1974, serving in that capacity for thirty-two years. Also according to Hilliard, Dalrymple “‘was instrumental in creating the policies for public use of the Governor’s Mansion.’” The MDAH also released a news release regarding Dalrymple’s passing.
The Monroe Journal also reported on March 17 that Save Aberdeen Landmarks is progressing in the restoration of the Senter Building, also known as the Mink Building, on Commerce St. Save Aberdeen Landmarks refers to this structure as the Senter Building, as it formerly held Senter Drugs, and states that the structure dates to the mid to late 1800s with its current appearance due to its remodeling in 1880. The Senter-Mink Building will house six apartments on the second story and office space on the first story. I noticed this structure on my last trip through Aberdeen, especially the large collapsed section in the rear. Unfortunately, it seems that many commercial structures are left to the point of extreme disrepair. I have seen too many commercial storefronts that look in fairly decent condition when gazing at the front façade, only to show their true, dire, condition when examining the rear façade. Save Aberdeen Landmarks is appealing to the citizens of Aberdeen to contribute to the Senter Building project.
The Winona Times reported on March 18 that Tommy Goodman, architect and professor at Mississippi State University, gave a lecture on the architectural history of the Carrollton and Vaiden area to the Winona Rotary Club on March 12. Goodman, who has restored what the article calls an “old home” (if I remember correctly it is an Antebellum house with Greek Revival and Italianate details) in Carroll County, chronologically detailed the architectural history of the area while informing the group of tax credits available for the restoration of historic structures. Tommy Goodman partnered with Samuel Mockbee during the early part of their careers in the firm Mockbee Goodman Architects. After four years and twenty-five awards, the two parted ways with Mockbee forming Mockbee Coker Architects with Coleman Coker in 1983 and the Rural Studio in 1993. Goodman would join Crawford McWilliams Hatcher Architects Inc., a firm based in Birmingham, and he designed such structures as the Riverchase Galleria (The Galleria) in the Birmingham area and the Avenue at East Cobb in the Atlanta area. In an aside from this story, this page on “Historic Belhaven” details some of the history of the A. Hays Town designed gas station that served as an office for Mockbee Goodman.