MissPres News Roundup 8-5-2013

With our summer schedule, it’s been a while since we’ve had a news round up. Some of what I’ve got, you may have from the twitter news feed.

Down in Moss Point, the fate of the old fire station building is all the news – with 3 stories popping up in recent weeks.  The City Council in Moss Point voted to demolish the building – calling it an “eye sore” that sits across the street from their new City Hall.  The Moss Point Historic Preservation Commission, however, is fighting to save the building, including working on getting the building designated as a Mississippi Landmark.  Some of the staff at MDAH were in Moss Point to examine the structure.  If memory serves, even without being declared a Mississippi Landmark, as a publicly owned building MDAH still has to review the proposed demolition under the Antiquities Law.  A third story – which includes a lot of the same information from the other two – includes a poll.  Last I looked, readers of that story think it needs to be saved.

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In Meridian, another public building is in danger as well – this time the former police station.  According to the story, the building which sits across from City Hall could be demolished for additional parking.  While the building is still a little “young” for our standard 50 year evaluation having been built in the mid 1970s, a look at the MDAH Database, tells us that Meridian architect Chris Risher, Sr. was the architect of the structure.  Mississippi’s AIA awarded an honor citation to the building in 1977.  Like the Fire Station in Moss Point, our friends at MDAH still have to review an official request for demolition.

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The Hinds County Armory in Jackson was in the news again recently.  Looks like the fire that hit the building in early July was caused by welders who were working on the building.  The good news is that there still seems to be interest in getting the building rehabbed for a future use.

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Tupelo’s Springhill Missionary Baptist Church recently got a historic marker placed in its front yard, according to the Northeast Daily Journal:

On Friday, members of the church joined friends and city leaders as they celebrated the unveiling of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau’s third marker on its Heritage Trails Enrichment Program.

The marker is the second on the Civil Rights and African American Heritage trail.

. . . .

Springhill Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest black church in Tupelo. It was established in the 1850s, and its original sanctuary, built in 1921, still stands.

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An interesting story out of Gulfport this week focusing on the success of its historic depot as a space for small businesses to establish themselves and thrive.  Apparently it’s working so well that there is an effort to expand some of the current businesses and getting some established in some of the unused space.  Stories like this are always my favorite since it’s all about a new use for an historic building.

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According to the Mississippi Business Journal, local preservationists are gearing up to try to repair and renovate the old Pike County Courthouse at Holmesville. This must be the building named Pike County Chancery Clerk’s Office in the MDAH Database, constructed in 1848. According to the article:

The red brick building was constructed in 1838. An annex was added in 1934, and renovations — which included the removal of two chimneys — were made in 1974. Cracks now run through the wall and floor of the old part of the building, and termite damage is evident.

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Back down to the coast – this time to Pascagoula where the Round Island Lighthouse exterior is nearly done.  Seems like we’ve been following the reconstruction project for a while, but the latest says that it is expected to be completed by the end of this month.  This image that goes with this story blows my mind – having seen the base both in photos and in person several times over the course of the project.

Categories: Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Jackson, Meridian, Moss Point, News Roundups, Pascagoula

3 replies

  1. JRGordon–

    Thank you for putting the word out about all things historical in MS.

    I have a question pertaining to the old Meridian police station and Chris Risher, Sr. Do you, or any of your readers, have any information regarding Risher’s resume? I’m looking for architectural awards or honors he received for his work.

    We own Risher, Sr.’s office location, and I’m trying to have it listed as a contributing historical building based on the fact that Risher worked there and owned it. Mr. Gatlin at the MDAH has suggested finding the information regarding architectural awards and honors.

    I think this is good timing. We’d love to save the police station, as well. I think finding this information about Risher’s career will go a long way with MDAH when they review the request to demolish the police station, while at the same time allowing me to place historical significance on his former place of business.

    Please let me know if you have any information that might help with my research and/or goal of saving the police station.

    Thanks so much!


  2. Alderman Lennep is missing something here. “Lennep said the cost to restore it to a usable state even with grants would be significantly higher than tearing it down.” He’s ignoring the fact that once the old fire station is torn down, there will still be the cost of constructing a NEW building on the site.



  1. Chris Risher’s Meridian Police Station Under Threat « Preservation in Mississippi

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