The nicer temps last week made me yearn for Fall – and I hope the weather is nice for all of us to plan trips to Fall Pilgrimages that are on the calendar and/or to see places likely to end up on our 101 List.
And now, the news:WXVT in the Delta had a short piece about the Joint Greenville-Washington County Historic Preservation Commission’s project to expand the Downtown Greenville National Register District. According to the article, the current district is about a dozen or so buildings which will be expanded to include 10 times as many. The write-up doesn’t mention it, but the commission is using one of the CLG Grants from MDAH to help get the project done – which means it should be on the yearly round up of new listings in 2012 if everything goes according to plan.
Speaking of National Register Districts – folks in Louisville are preparing for a luncheon and Tax Credit workshop to celebrate their district being listed this past spring. According to the Winston County Journal, the Louisville Rotary Club is hosting the lunch on September 16 and later that day MDAH Tax Credit coordinator Todd Sanders will give a “how-to” talk to property owners on the Tax Credit process now that the district is listed. I hope some good rehab projects come out of this.
National Register talk also showed up in Hattiesburg recently. The American ran a story about the city’s downtown survey and expected National Register District expansion. Last week, the city hosted an informational meeting for the public to talk about what they are doing, why, and what it’ll mean for property owners. They also invited people to bring historic photos and any other information of the area and/or buildings that could help with the research. Like the Greenville project, this one is also a CLG Grant project.
In Meridian, the Star informs us that the renovations on City Hall that were expected to finally be finished by September 1, were not. This article does not give a new expected completion date, but does a good job recounting the previous expected dates. I did like this quote from the article:
In January, [Mayor Cheri] Barry announced that the deadline had been moved to May 23. In May, the date was changed to Sept. 1.
Barry said at the last council meeting that she will not be announcing any more deadlines for completion.
The way the schedule has changed, I don’t think I would announce any more expected completion dates either. Hopefully the next time the renovation is in the news, the City will be celebrating moving back into the building.
Down on the coast, some movement on the Gulfport LIbrary: the Sun Herald reports that “[t]he city of Gulfport wants to lease the library property from Harrison County and ultimately take ownership and incorporate it into the improvements under way in Jones Park and downtown.” Gulfport officials don’t have a specific plan for the building yet, but want to work with county officials to transfer ownership to the city. The city is willing to lease it from the county, but want to defer payments while they put money into fixing the building. Any money that the City spends on the building would be deducted from the lease amount and the overall lease amount is to go towards the purchase of the building. Since the county refuses to put any money into the library building, I think its great that the city wants to take it on. Damaged by Katrina, it’s currently an eyesore in Gulfport, but the City does not agree with the County that tearing it down to leave a vacant lot is the answer. The article doesn’t call this a done deal, so I’m not calling it a preservation victory yet – but I’m hopeful that we soon can.
Staying on the Coast, the Sun Herald also reported that USM held a groundbreaking ceremony on their Long Beach campus for Hardy Hall and Lloyd Hall. Both had been damaged by Katrina. I wish the article gave more of a back story on these – such as why it’s taken this long to get work started when FEMA and insurance money are covering the costs. Does anyone know if the school wanted to tear them down at some point? Either way, it’s good news for preservationists to know that these buildings will continue to be part of campus life for USM’s Gulf Coast students.
In Natchez, the Democrat reports that the Worthy Women of Watkins Street Cemetery Association non-profit group is seeking funds to help pay for “[a] historical study to garner the Watkins Street Cemetery the attention some say it deserves.” The non-profit does what it can to maintain the cemetery property, but believe that the study will help lead to a long-term maintaince plan because it will bring attention (and they hope, funds) to the cemetery. They have already gotten a $60,000 bid from a Georgia firm to do the study, but the group does not have that much on hand. The article also does not elaborate on what all would be involved in the study.
We’ll end with something fun from WAPT who ran a short piece on the U.S. Mint’s “America the Beautiful” series quarters. The one for Mississippi, which was release around the time of the story, celebrates Vicksburg and features the Cairo. If you haven’t seen one of these quarters in your change yet, you can see a picture with the story.
Categories: Cool Old Places, Grants, Greenville, Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Long Beach, Meridian, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, National Register, News Roundups, Renovation Projects, Vicksburg