First, news out of Natchez where Stanton Hall has had structural engineers examining the building to locate the source(s) of problems in the landmark house. The article talks about some new technologies that are non-invasive to the building, but still allow the team to find problems. While the article does not make the comparison, it sounds a lot like how archaeologists have adopted radar, infra-red and other noninvasive methods in their work. While the paper reports that results from the study were expected to be shared at a meeting the day the engineers were there, the Democrat has not had a follow up yet – and it’s likely that at that meeting they would have been “preliminary” results with a full report and recommendations to follow later. I have a feeling this will be one that will have regular updates once any work gets started.
Following the river north to Vicksburg, the Clarion Ledger reports that the National Military Park will be offering free walking tours. The “Shadows of the Past” tours run on the half hour from 5:30 to 8 pm – each tour size limited to 25 people and lasting 90 minutes. First person in the MissPres world to go on the tour should tell us all about it.
The next story is also from Vicksburg where the report is that officials will not be moving the 143 year old Fairground Street Bridge to the Lower Mississippi River Museum site. Cost estimates came in at $10 million (at least) and engineers have said the bridge was too brittle to move.
Up in Aberdeen, WTVA ran a story on the Save Aberdeen Landmarks group. The piece mainly focused on their efforts to restore the GM&O Depot – which was once on Mississippi Heritage Trust’s 10 Most list, but is nearly ready for a new use thanks to the efforts of the group and assistance from Mississippi Department of Archives and History grants. The article also says that the group has 4 other buildings they are attempting to save throughout the county – including a store in Smithville. I hope they are successful.
MissPreser TomL alerted us on Friday that demolition had begun on the 1910 Meridian Hotel, with photos on the Meridian Star’s Facebook page. This disappointing story has been covered before on MissPres, most recently by Malvaney in “Because for instance the Meridian Hotel is much older, we feel it best to tear it down.”
Down in Pike County, the Enterprise-Journal reports that Fernwood residents would like the county to consider acquiring Fernwood Elementary School “since the school board apparently doesn’t plan to fix it.” From the article, it sounds like the first thing the building needs is a roof repair to fix leaks that are threatening to cause the roof to fall in – especially in the auditorium. We’ll keep an eye on this one to see what happens – but hopefully something good will come to the building BEFORE it collapses.
Moving to the Hub City, the American ran a nice feature on the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood. The focus is on the early establishment of the Neighborhood Association and how that group helped take their neighborhood from a blighted area to one that was recognized by the American Planning Association at one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in the county (which was in a previous roundup).
In Pascagoula, the story is that two downtown buildings – the former Parker Jewelry and Parsley’s Barber Shop buildings – were donated to the city’s Redevelopment Authority. The hope is that the Redevelopment Authority can fix up these buildings for new tenants, which could boost efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown area. I hope they are successful!
Wrapping up on the Coast, the Sun Herald reports that the Mississippi Department of Archives and History toured the coast late last week and recognized some South Mississippi preservationists. The paper also says that MDAH has awarded $26 million in grants – for historic properties of all types and ownership – as part of the Katrina Recovery Efforts. I get a feeling from the article that the program is wrapping up – hence the tour and reception.
Categories: Aberdeen, Bridges, Cool Old Places, Depots, Grants, Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, National Park Service, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects, Schools, Vicksburg