News is still a bit slow in the new year – but we still uncovered enough for our second round up of the year.
Starting this week down in Natchez where The Democrat covered the latest push for an oil well on the Arlington property. This has been an on-going issue in the city, and several times last year we noted the stories about the meetings both in Natchez and at the State Oil & Gas board. The latest stories were the pre and post Historic Preservation Commission meeting this week. EMB Exploration – the company seeking permission – had presented to the Commission before and been denied. This last meeting, they were presenting a revised plan, hopeful that having less of the operation on the Arlington property would ease some of the fears of the impact on the historic site. The Commission denied the Certificate of Appropriateness application for the second time.
It is possible that EMB could appeal the Commission’s decision – which would go to the Adams County Chancery Court – but at the time of the second article, they had not decided if they would pursue that option.
First, one about the closure of the federal court in the city – which is housed upstairs in the Central Post Office in Downtown – leads with the headline “History fading away.” The article does a really good job chronicling the Civil Rights history of the courtroom. Some of the fear in closing the courthouse in Meridian – which is part of a money saving venture by the federal government – is that this history could be lost. The article does not indicate what might go into the space once the court is closed, so it’ll be something that we’ll keep an eye on.
The second story in Meridian gave me a panic when I saw the headline “Investigation into Threefoot Building fire underway“. Reading the article, however, it sounds like the fire was contained quickly and that there is not much damage to the endangered building. We’ll keep watching for news about the results of the investigation.
Up in Columbus, Mississippi Landmark Annunciation Church is undergoing restoration work in preperation for their 150th Anniversery later this year. Back in September, a new roof was put on the building. Other work in progress include the cleaning / repair of the stained glass windows, and making repairs to curb some basement flooding issues. The church’s renovations received some assistance from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
Down in Hattiesburg, The American has put up a nice link to their on-going “Then & Now” photo gallery. Even if the write-ups have been short, this has been a fun series to watch and I’m glad they’re keeping it up as one of their online features.
On a national note, we heard that architecture critic and preservationist Ada Louise Huxtable, who was still using her considerable skills to fight for good architecture as recently as a few weeks ago (see Mississippi’s Connection to the New York Public Library), died last week at the age of 91. Huxtable’s is a voice that the preservation and architecture worlds will miss. Read the New York Times obituary and an appraisal, “A Critic of the Curb and Corner,” to find nuggets like this:
“I have never joined architectural groupies of any persuasion,” she wrote in the preface to “On Architecture,” a 2008 collection of her writings. That was true. “As an architectural historian, I have not bought into anyone’s belief systems, including modernism’s most admirable and often faulty illusions. I have a built-in skepticism of dogma.”
And last, MissPres celebrated its 400,000th view on Friday. Resident statistician Thomas Rosell tried valiantly to catch the moment for our digital archive, but y’all were too fast for him:
Categories: Civil Rights, Columbus, Cool Old Places, Grants, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, Meridian, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, News Roundups, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Renovation Projects