Mississippi Landmarks 2013

As we’ve noted before, “Mississippi Landmark” and “National Register” are sometimes confused, but they are two completely different programs to recognize historic properties. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, while the Mississippi Landmark designation is conferred by the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History. The designating authority comes from the Mississippi Antiquities Act (Code of 1972), which states:

(39-7-11) (2) All other sites, objects, buildings, artifacts, implements, structures and locations of historical or architectural significance located in or under the surface of any lands belonging to the State of Mississippi or to any county, city or political subdivision of the state may be declared to be Mississippi landmarks by majority vote of the board. Every Mississippi landmark shall be so designated based upon its significance within the historical or architectural patterns of a community, a county, the State of Mississippi, or the United States of America. Upon such action by the board, the designation of the Mississippi landmark shall be recorded in the deed records of the county in which the landmark is located. All such designated sites or items located on public lands within the State of Mississippi may not be taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged, restored, renovated or excavated without a permit from, the board or in violation of the terms of such permit.

Unfortunately, as we learned this year with Mendenhall School and other designated landmarks, the MDAH Board of Trustees seems to be in the mood to allow demolition at the drop of a hat, or even at the threatened drop of a hat, so I’m less enthusiastic about the Mississippi Landmark designation than I have been in years past. However, when overseen by a Board of Trustees that believes in its mission, the Landmark designation actually does more to protect a building from demolition than a simple National Register listing does.

While MDAH has the authority to designate any publicly owned building in the state,  with or without the public owner’s consent, all of the buildings designated in 2013 were designated at the owner’s request. This designation does make a building eligible for grants from MDAH, most significantly the popular Community Heritage Preservation Grant.

In 2013, MDAH added seven properties to its list of Mississippi Landmarks.

Millsaps Hotel, Hazlehurst (1918). Designated January 19, 2013.

Millsaps Hotel, Hazlehurst (1918). Designated January 18, 2013.

Cockrum School (White), DeSoto County (c.1930). Designated April 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division. Photo Nov. 1, 2012, Jennifer Baughn, MDAH, retrieved from MDAH Historic Resources Database, January 2, 2014.

Cockrum School (White), DeSoto County (c.1930). Designated April 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division. Photo Nov. 1, 2012, Jennifer Baughn, MDAH, retrieved from MDAH Historic Resources Database, January 2, 2014.

Morgan Grove Negro School, DeSoto County (1951), designated July 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division.

Morgan Grove Negro School, DeSoto County (1951). Designated July 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division.

Duck Hill School, Montgomery County (1930, N.W. Overstreet, architect). Designated July 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Jennifer Baughn, July 26, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2013 from Mississippi Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) Database. http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/Public

Duck Hill School, Montgomery County (1930, N.W. Overstreet, architect). Designated July 19, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Jennifer Baughn, July 26, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2013 from Mississippi Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) Database.

Antioch Colored School, Tippah County (1948). Designated Oct. 25, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, J. Baughn, February 26, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2013 from Mississippi Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) Database.

Antioch Colored School, Tippah County (1948). Designated Oct. 25, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, J. Baughn, February 26, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2013 from Mississippi Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) Database.

(former) First Christian Church, Amory (aka "The Windows") (c.1926). Designated October 26, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division.

(former) First Christian Church, Amory (aka “The Windows”) (c.1926). Designated October 25, 2013. Photo courtesy MDAH, Historic Preservation Division.

Main Street Bridge, Leland, (1925). Designated October 25, 2013.

Main Street Bridge, Leland, (1925). Designated October 25, 2013.

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Categories: Historic Preservation, Mississippi Landmarks

4 replies

  1. So the MDAH Board has not been proactive choosing sites worth the designation…only responding to requests by owners?

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  2. Although I have covered “The Windows” and done some research on it, and driven over the bridge in Leland, the others are new to me. I love the school design for Duck Hill!

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  3. While I am somewhat ambivalent on Mid-Century Modern architecture, completely disliking its suburban qualities, the fact that in a year in which our Auld Lang Syne post was an almost completely Mid-Century Modern edition the MDAH Board chose not to designate any examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture as Mississippi Landmarks is troubling. It is also troubling that this year saw the fewest number of new landmarks, seven, since only seven were designated in 2009. I would like a follow-up post, if possible, listing the landmarks that the Board declined to make Mississippi Landmarks. I know that was done for the 2010 post, and I would presume that many other potential landmarks, not just the seven designated, were considered this year.

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    • Thanks for that reminder, W., I had forgotten I did that previously. I’ll try to get that list, but it seems harder to find those declined landmarks now–kind of obscured in a bureaucratic fog, but I will try.

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