Yes – it’s Friday and we’re doing a news roundup. No – the world did not end.
With the holidays and our annual “Year in Review” posts over the next week or so, we figured we’d do one last roundup in 2012.
We’ll start with some bad news out of Columbus. The story late last week is that the old Lowndes County Health Department building was being demolished. The Colonial Revival building, originally constructed around 1948 according to the MDAH HRI Database, had only been vacant for two years. According to the story, one of the Supervisors had serious concerns about “illicit activity” in the vacant old building – which is why he wanted it torn down. It sounds as if the building was structurally sound and just needed proper policing in the area until a new use could be found for it – but unfortunately it ends up being a preservation loss.
Moving down to Natchez for a celebration story – Auburn is 200 years old this month!
During a recent open house event, visitors were greeted and guided through the house by volunteers in attire appropriate to the early 1800’s and were invited to sample some refreshments that one might have had if attending a Christmas party in the era.
Visitors were also able to see some of the plans for further restoration of the site – which includes restoring the kitchen and servant’s quarters. It sounds like they are still in the fundraising part of their planning, but we’ll keep watching for news and updates as they get going on the project.
Moving up to the Northeast part of the state, the NEMS Journal featured the Monroe County Courthouse in Aberdeen recently. The article calls the Greek Revival c. 1857 building “the the oldest remaining continuous use courthouse in the state” – but I believe Adams (c. 1820) and Amite (c. 1840) Counties both claim older buildings. Maybe it’s that “continuous use” clause that separates them? Or the fact that both the Adams and Amite County Courthouses have had more additions and remodeling done?
Despite the “oldest” controversy, the Monroe County Courthouse is a wonderful building and the feature is a good read. I wish the paper’s website had a better link to the previous courthouses featured in the planned 16 part serious because I know I have missed some of them in my own reading (and therefore missed the opportunity to share them all with you).
Finally, down in Hattiesburg, their “Then and Now” series featured two USM buildings recently – The Olgletree House (which was originally the President’s House) and The Honor’s House (originally the Industrial Cottage). Not as in depth as the Courthouse Series from the Northeast paper, but still fun to see the post card images with current photographs.
And with that, I’m done as an author for 2012. Happy Holidays to all MissPresers and I hope that we have good news to ring in our first Roundup of 2013!
Categories: Aberdeen, Columbus, Cool Old Places, Courthouses, Demolition/Abandonment, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Hospitals/Medical, Mississippi Landmarks, Natchez, News Roundups, Preservation People/Events, Universities/Colleges
Rufus Ward must be asleep at the wheel in Columbus. Columbus’ historic Friendship House met the same fate back in May, 2011. The destruction of an historic cemetery by commerical loggers a few years back never even raised an eyebrow.
I found it interesting the article described the building as an “eyesore.” The file photo from only a few months ago did not appear to be an eyesore. Tearing down one building will not end illicit use, it will merely move it elsewhere. The best way to end illicit use of a building is give it a legitimate use and purpose With community involvement, you can save more than a building.
Re: Aberdeen courthouse. I think you’re right on the “continuous use” part. Somewhere in the back of my mind is a memory of it being one of only 3 MS courthouses that have been in continuous use. Don’t know if Adams and Amite are the other two, but their remodeling might have necessitated moving business elsewhere for a time.