Just because I took a week off from doing a roundup doesn’t mean that the news took a break. Events are still on the calendar – and I hope that in the next round up we get to share a lot of Preservation Month celebrations with the Miss Pres world.
Until then, here’s what stories we’ve snagged since our last roundup:
We’ll start off with a big congratulations to Ocean Springs. At last week’s National Main Streets Conference, this delightful coast community won a Great American Main Street Awards – one of three to earn the distinction nation-wide. One of the things noted in the press release was that the Main Street approach helped the community bounce back from both Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill. Congrats again!
Staying on the coast – Pascagoula is still progressing with the Round Island Light House project – including deciding recently to get some of the right of way around HWY 90 from the state to develop a park around the iconic structure. While the accompanying photo doesn’t quite make it seem possible, the article says that the project should be completed sometime this summer.
One more Coast story – this time near Picayune where the Pinecote Pavilion will be undergoing some work according to this story I saw in the local paper. Reading the story, it seems like there is still some lingering damage from Katrina that hasn’t been addressed yet and that will be the focus of the work. The structure is a Mississippi Landmark – so we know our friends at MDAH will be involved in the process. It’s also one of the 101 Places we all should see. Maybe a ceremony at the end of the project would be a great excuse!
Up in Columbus, a proposed demolition project is spurring a lot of talk. The 80 year old Magnolia Bowl, which has been unused since 1998 when the high school moved their games to a newer stadium, is made of concrete. The school board is entertaining an idea of having Columbus Light and Water to remove the structure. This has started people talking about how the site was prepared for the field in the first place – that it was an old gully filled with cars before the dirt was piled on. The decision on the demolition has been tabled until May – and we’ll keep an eye out to see what will happen.
News out of Natchez is that the City Auditorium maintenance costs have been over budget. The article specifically notes the repairs to the air-conditioning system in the building – which one alderman said has been “woefully inadequate” for several years. Seems like the city is realizing how deferred maintenance starts to add up once you finally get around to addressing the issues.
Also in Natchez was a nice story on the Holy Catholic Church rehabilitation project. The rehab is focused on the steeple right now – including repointing brick, repainting the steel roof and repair/replacement of some cast stone details. Once the steeple is done, a new roof will go over the sanctuary. The article also talked about the importance of this church to the African-American community in Natchez and is worth a read if you’re not already familiar with the story.
Seems like the downtown railroad depot in Natchez has been in the news quite a bit lately as the city keeps talking about plans for rehab and potential use for the building. The latest story talks about plans for both Alcorn State and Mississippi State to have spaces in the building – focusing specifically on the agriculture programs. A farmer’s market and a demonstration kitchen are already in the planning. Pulling together the funding and the programming is still on-going, so the article does not indicate when the project might start, but it’s great to know that the groups are looking at the use for the space.
In case you haven’t signed up for the MDAH Meet Modern Jackson tour this Friday (26th), MDAH has placed a more detailed description of the tour than we saw a couple weeks ago on the Facebook post. According to the description, the bus tour will include stops and tours at:
- Thomas Biggs’ St. Richard Catholic Church
- Wiener House in Woodland Hills
- W.W. Easley-designed Falk House in Eastover
- Medgar Evers 1950s neighborhood
- and the James Canizaro-designed Farish Street Baptist Church
Finally, two Spring Pilgrimage stories to share – one in Natchez and the other out of Columbus. Both stories note the profitable success of their events – in fact, both were noted as being one of the best years in recent memory. A good sign that folks wanted to travel to see the fantastic historic places that these two communities have – and how those visitor’s also impact the other local businesses while they are in town.
Categories: 101 MissPres Places, African American History, Churches, Columbus, Cool Old Places, Depots, Gulf Coast, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, Mississippi Landmarks, Natchez, News Roundups, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Picayune, Renovation Projects