MissPres News Roundup 6-20-2011

If you missed it on Friday, Malvaney posted the Mid-way results of the East/Central Mississippi Poll – which you can vote on here if you haven’t already done so.  You also still have time to support Tishamingo County in the National Trust’s Community Challenge Contest.

First, an AP story that I saw picked up by several news sources around the state announcing the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered List for 2011.  Last year you’ll remember that Meridian’s Threefoot Building made the list.  No Mississippi places are on their list this year, but the list is still worth checking out.

During the month long break between round-ups, I missed a story about the Farish Street development in Jackson being “on the shelf” –  and it’s too old of a story for me to get back to for free on the Clarion Ledger site.  The story caused “quite a stir” according to a piece done for the Mississippi Business Journal the same day.  They spoke to David Watkins about the Clarion Ledger story and he told them that the development was “absolutely not shut down.”  The story goes on to say that “Watkins added that the B.B. King Blues Club and Itta Bena restaurant, Zac Harmon’s Subway Lounge, Flagrant Sports Lounge and a cigar store would open as scheduled.”  These are all scheduled to open this year.

The Clarion Ledger did a follow up story where, like the MBJ, they talked with Watkins and reported that the developer “says tenants have been identified for 14 of the 15 planned venues” and that [l]eases have been signed with five tenants for the first block of the project, on Farish between Amite and Griffith streets.  In this article, he concedes that the projected opening dates for the venues may still change, but it is clear that he wants everyone to know that they are moving forward.

An article I missed last week from the Hub City, was one in the Hattiesburg American about the restoration of USM’s College Hall.  While the University has to bid out the project, the makeover is expected to cost $6 million.  When completed (estimated in 2013) the building will be home to the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism.  The article includes an artist rendering of College Hall post restoration.  I was also pleased to read that USM President Martha Saunders has expressed a desire to restore all 5 of the campus’s original buildings.  Money is an issue in actually getting this done of course, but I can’t recall any other university administrators from around the state so interested in restoring their old buildings.

A headline in Wednesday’s Greenwood Commonwealth read “Protesters picket at Merrick House”.  North Greenwood Baptist Church wants to tear down the 1920s property.  The day of the protest was the deadline for raising $200,000 to save the building, but it was unclear from the article who was trying to raise the money (mainly because the Commonwealth only gives portions of articles online without a subscription).  Thursday, the news was that the church was going forward with the demolition plans.  An article Sunday mentioned an attorney had a plan that would save the house -but I don’t know what it is.  I’m going to appeal to MissPres readers around Greenwood who have read the full articles to fill in the gaps on this one.

Mary Holmes College near West Point – which has been abandoned and neglected since its closure a few years ago – is in the progress of being restored.  The Columbus Dispatch ran a nice piece that updated readers on the progress of the rehabilitation since Community Counseling Services (CCS) bought the property a year ago.  The paper says that the “campus boasts 25 buildings, including the library, eight rental houses, two condominium complexes, a cafeteria, a chapel and the original 1930s-era all-girls school.”  The seven oldest buildings at the school are listed as a historic district on the National Register.  I’m glad that CCS has taken on the monumental task and that they are encouraging public use of the spaces available for different events.  They still have a way to go, but it’s the type of preservation story that should make us all smile!

Gulf Live posted a story on the LaPointe-Krebs House (aka Old Spanish Fort) restoration.  I didn’t learn anything new from this one, but I think it’s a great back story for those unfamiliar with the restoration and it keeps the efforts of the City of Pascagoula, Jackson County and the foundation established to management of the property.

News out of Philadelphia this week where the First Baptist Church wants a portion of a local street closed to traffic and to demolish their “old parsonage” to make way for a new child ministry center.  The parsonage is a 1948 Tudor / Craftsman house and those around MissPres since the beginning will remember the debate that surrounded this permit request back in 2009.

Finally, a news Blues Marker was unveiled in Bay St. Louis this week at the 100 Men Debating Benevolent Association (D.B.A.) Hall honoring that site’s role on the “Chitlin Circuit.”  The Sun Herald put out word inviting everyone to the unveiling, and covered the event itself.

Categories: Bay St. Louis, Blues Sites, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Greenwood, Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Jackson, National Trust, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects

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