As you know, the Vicksburg poll, open the last two weeks, closed on Friday around midnight. Ok, I admit I actually closed it on Saturday morning, but not because I went to bed early, it was because I was out being the life of the party on Friday night and stumbled home as the sun rose on Saturday.
Now that that’s settled, let’s take a look at the results of the poll. As we suspected at the halfway point, there aren’t any surprises here, except perhaps the relatively low total of 463 votes. This number places Vicksburg in 6th place out of 7 polls so far, ahead only of the miserable Central poll (339) back in March. Anyway, the Old Courthouse was always in first place and ended up with the clear lead. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church grabbed second, with the Military Park falling to a close third after having been second at the halfway point.
Our next poll will be the Golden Triangle area and will begin next Friday (August 26).
Categories: 101 MissPres Places, Contest, Vicksburg
I am a little surprised that Margaret’s Grocery did not fare better. I recognize it is not some grand architectural structure, but of the things I think would be a building you would never forget, and carries such an amazing story along with it, it just seems much like something one really ought to see. I mean, how many antebellum houses can one see and even recall the difference? I guess that’s why you have a poll instead of just picking the places.
You’re right, I was surprised about that and then forgot to express my surprise. It’s a terrible thing to lose your mind or only have half of one. :-)
I’m still struggling with how to use the results from the polls in the final list, especially given the much heavier participation from Natchez and the Coast relative to the rest of the state. If I weighted those polls in relation to the total votes, we would have a huge number from them and then maybe just two or three each from the others. And then there are places like Margaret’s (and others) that I think should be included, and if this is going to be a MissPres list, shouldn’t my opinion get some weight? I say that seriously but in a slightly whining tone.
At the risk of incurring wrath, I think the “weight” of some of the polls was clearly not necessarily the will of the people as a whole, but rather, those with a vested interest in that particular building being a ‘winner.’ If one were concerned with parity, then each district would have an equal representation, meaning, whatever percentage of votes for that area would count equally with others, and no one part of the state would dominate. Just because more people voted in one part of the state does not equate to that being the most important part of the state–just that there are greater numbers, or greater numbers with computers, or greater numbers who even know about the poll. The real issue ought to be–in my non-architectural opinion, but opinion that is well-read of history and open-minded to many viewpoints–what is there in Mississippi that will contribute to people’s understanding of history, architecture, and preservation of those important aspects–for all of us? Seems like that would need to include a variety of regions and types of architecture and buildings. Unless, of course, we prefer to cling to the only history of value is “my” history.
I agree with that viewpoint in theory, but I’m finding the practical realities to be a bit more difficult. For instance, should a building that is #5 in the Central poll with 15 votes get onto the list while a place like Rodney Baptist Church, which received 16 votes in the Natchez poll but was fourth from last in that poll, not find a place? I agree that the polls are in no way scientific and that they reflect more about computer users or random things like who received the link, but on the other hand, knowing how preservation is going in the state, I’m not at all surprised that Natchez and the Coast received a much more overwhelming response than places like the northeast or central sections or even Meridian, where preservation is struggling. My idea for weighting was to give some amount of extra “points” to Natchez and the Coast since they showed up, but not so much that they dominate the list. Maybe something like taking the top 15 for both and then fill in the list with the top 8-10 from the others, adding in a few that I think should not be left off the list and leaving off a few others (talk about incurring wrath!) that probably don’t need to be on a statewide list. I know it’s trying to be all the things to all people, and that never turns out well.
I think it might have been a mistake to go with individual buildings rather than entire sites like Rodney. I understood the rationale originally, but when you consider the case of Rodney Baptist Church or certain less-popular though no-less-significant buildings in certain historic districts or on college campuses, it really makes no sense that they are left out or off just because someone with access favors the Presbyterian church over the Baptist or whatever. Also, of course, often what makes the building significant is it’s inclusion in a community or district, etc.
Besides, it’s a lagniappe; you liked this so here’s this, too!
i like lagniappe
I follow this blog & love it but didn’t know about this V’burg Poll – I certainly would have added my two cents worth! Why in the world wasn’t Christ Episcopal Church included? It’s considered to be the oldest public building in V’burg & its minister held services every single day of the Siege. Also FYI, marvelous McRaven will reopen in the September under new ownership after being closed for several years and Duff Green has entergetic new owners!!