News picked up again this past week, so I’m going to dive right in:
First up, the Spain House in Tupelo was in the news again this week. This is a story we’ve been following for a while here on MissPres (most recently here) – and I’m pleased to continue to share positive progress in saving the building. Tupelo City Council voted to spend the funds required to prepare a foundation at the site where the house will be moved. Previously, they had approved the bid for the move itself. Calvary Baptist Church, who owns the lot and wanted to demolish the house, gave the structure to the City with the understanding that the house would be removed from the site by October 1 of this year. We’ll keep watching this one – and hope that we continue to hear good news.
Down in Biloxi, the White House Hotel is in the news again because it’s getting another reprieve from demolition. The City has had the building on its demolition list for a while because it has been vacant and in disrepair for a while. The owner is still looking for someone who will take on the rehab needed to save the building – but without luck so far. Although the latest vote gave more time for the owner to get something done before the wrecking ball, some City Council members are getting tired of the “eyesore” of the building on Beach Boulevard – and are not likely to be sympathetic to its historic value.
A couple of stories out of Natchez this week. First, the Preservation Commission approved a Habitat for Humanity house in the historic district. It’s not the first Habitat house in the district, but the first time that the organization has gone through the Commission. The style of this house is not typical of the district, however, the commission understood the need for the structure. The Commission, Historic Natchez Foundation and Habitat also plan to work together to make sure that future Habitat homes in the historic district do keep with the character of the district. I hope they also talk about rehabing existing structures instead of just building new as I think that would be a win-win.
The second story out of Natchez is about the drilling exploration issue on the Arlington property. The oil company plans to go before the State Oil and Gas Board for permission to do more work on the site, but the City is asking for a continuance to have more time to review the deal between the City and the company as well as to give more notice to other interested parties (namely the National Park Service, the MS Department of Archives and History and MS Heritage Trust) to be able to catch up on the issue and weigh in.
Finally, a couple of churches are in the news because they are planning / starting rehabs.
First, Annunciation Catholic Church in Columbus. The story says that some of the work to be done will be with the assistance of a grant from MDAH, but there is also a lot of local support for the rehab.
The other historic church ready for a facelift is the Moselle United Methodist Church (Jones County). According to the story, the congregation is also seeking Mississippi Landmark status from MDAH.
Categories: Biloxi, Columbus, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Historic Preservation, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, News Roundups, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Renovation Projects, Tupelo
While its kind of old news now, I was reading this months Journal of South Mississippi Business and saw a blurb about the June ribbon cutting for the Old Pascagoula High School adaptive reuse project.
Let’s hope a similarly successful project can be found for the White House hotel. While I don’t think anyone really wants to see it demolished, certainly nobody wants to see it wasting away like it is currently.