MissPres News Roundup 10-22-2012

Now that our latest Name This Place is done, it’s back to our regular routine around MissPres – which means our Monday morning news round up.  Here’s what’s been going on since our last one:

First, news out of Natchez where we were sad to hear that the Historic Natchez Foundation had a break-in last weekend.  According to the article, nothing was taken, but the staff had a mess to clean up this week – all while preparing for the Balloon Race which was this weekend.  I’m glad that it wasn’t worse for HNF.

Down in Pascagoula, the report is that the business known as the Pascagoula Ice House will not return to their 1903 building.  The site suffered a fire in February, and the business and property owners are seeking bids to demolish the northern part of the building.  The article makes it seem like the owners want to keep most of the building – but  they do toss around “millions” and “a fortune” for the cost it would take to rehab the building.  It doesn’t sound like they have really crunched the numbers – and I doubt they have thought about historic preservation tax credits and how they might make saving the whole building more of a possibility.

Speaking of tax credits – sounds like Gulfport has added some local tax benefits for historic buildings as a recent article noted that three businesses have taken advantage of them.  City officials think that investing in their building stock is a way to improve business and commercial traffic in their community.  With the local tax abatements – plus the eligibility for State and Federal credits for the buildings that contribute to the National Register District down there, I hope there may be some serious investment in Downtown Gulfport in the near future.

The Tupelo paper has started a new series two weeks ago that MissPresers should enjoy on the courthouses of the region.  First up is the Lee County Courthouse in Tupelo, followed by the Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth.  The series runs on Mondays – and the third one (of 16) should be up today.

In Jackson, the Free Press had a story that included good news for Hawkins Field where the 1930s terminal building will be rehabbed.  The goal will be to have the structure be reopened for airport patrons to use as well as providing a space for the history – all while maintaining the basic design.  Sounds like this is a joint effort between several organizations to get it done – and one that we look forward to watching.

Sticking around Jackson, the public radio program The Story had Dick Gordon touring the National Historic Landmark Eudora Welty House this past Thursday.  The Podcast is worth a listen – and maybe it’ll encourage you to get to Jackson to see the site yourself.

Over in Meridian, a follow-up to a story last month about the possible abandonment of the courtroom in the 1930s federal building. Although it’s not an ideal situation for such a storied court to leave, it does sound like the Lauderdale County government is interested in using that historic space in some way. According to the Meridian Star:

Joe Norwood, District 4 supervisor and president of the Board of Supervisors, said Friday afternoon the county is interested in the space as a way to solve some of its problems at both the Annex Building and the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

. . . .

“We are out of space with all the records we have to keep,” Norwood said. “We also are going to be renovating the county court house so it would be nice to have a place for the circuit and chancery courts and staff to go.”

Two quick items to finish up today:

First, in the Natchez area, Historic Jefferson College is hosting a “Ghost Tales” event on Thursday at 6:30.

Second, down in Biloxi, Main Street has unvieled which of the cities historic buildings is featured on their Christmas ornament this year . . . I’ll let you read about it for yourselves!



Categories: Biloxi, Cool Old Places, Corinth, Demolition/Abandonment, Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, Jackson, Meridian, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects, Tupelo

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