MissPres News Roundup 9-14-2015

Now that the first hints of fall have arrived, I have the energy to look around and see what preservation news is going on in our little postage stamp of the world.


First off, if you’re near Rolling Fork tomorrow, go to the Sharkey-Issaquena Library (116 E. China Street) at 6:30 to hear a talk about Prospect Hill Plantation by Jessica Crawford and Alan Huffman. If you’re unfamiliar with Prospect Hill, you have plenty of reading material here on MissPres to get you caught up beforehand.

Next week’s Lower Delta Talk is by Sam Brookes about the Mississippi Mound Trail, same time, same place.

Anyone know why Port Gibson, Vicksburg, Rolling Fork, and Lexington (and maybe more) have streets named “China”?


According to the Daily Journal, the diminutive Skipwith Cottage next door to Oxford City Hall on the square “has unclear future in Oxford.” The building was originally a law office on the property of the Skipwith house, which was located next to the Buie-Skipwith Museum, and it was moved to the square in 1974 to save it from demolition for a museum expansion.

City officials have discussed renovating the office space to house the City Clerk’s Office, Volunteer Oxford or some other entity of city government. It also has been proposed for eventual demolition to create a pedestrian gateway to the Square from a proposed parking garage behind City Hall.

In either case, the Skipwith Cottage cannot stay where it is.

Read more . . . 

I’m not completely clear why that last sentence is accurate, given that the first sentence discusses possible renovation for city office space. At any rate, there is also the possibility that the poor thing will be moved again. Maybe the second time’s the charm?


Up in Holly Springs, one of my favorite depots in the state may be headed for a more lively future. Here’s a sneak peek inside with commentary by owned Megan Wolfe about her plans to turn the building into an entertainment and cultural venue like Oxford’s Power House.


Speaking of Holly Springs, the big fall fundraiser for the Chalmer’s Institute, The Wrecking Ball, will be held on October 3. More info here. Be there or be square!


The Mississippi AIA is holding a photography contest as part of this year’s “Mississippi Celebrates Architecture” event. I’m getting this a little late, since the registration forms are due Wednesday, Sept. 16. But if you’re interested, head over to their website and download the form. Once you’ve registered, you have until next Wed, Sept. 23, to submit your photos, which need to be printed, not merely digital.

Photograph an element of the built environment  located within the state of Mississippi. Subject matter may be of any structure built by man, including but not limited to: historic and modern buildings, ruins, industrial sites, and prehistoric sites. Photos may be recently taken or from photographer’s own archived collection.


Two demolition notices have been published on the MDAH Historic Preservation Division Facebook page as part of the public notice process.


The Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs, designed in the 1890s by Louis Sullivan and possibly Frank Lloyd Wright, is once again open for regular tours, according to WLOX. Visit anytime Fridays or Saturdays between 10 AM and 4 PM. It’s worth a visit. It’s worth two visits!


Starting with that video showing the rise of Katrina’s surge in Bay St. Louis, MDAH’s Sense of Place blog has been running a series, “Time and Tide,” about MDAH’s response to Katrina. Posts so far relive the damage to the Old Capitol Museum with pictures of the metal roof peeled back like a sardine can, the Historic Preservation Division’s damage assessment in the historic districts on the Coast, and the teams of volunteer architects and engineers who came down to help homeowners with stabilization and repair. Lots of pictures I’ve never seen before, and worth the read as you begin the week.

Categories: Courthouses, Demolition/Abandonment, Depots, Gentrification, Greenville, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, Holly Springs, Hurricane Katrina, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Ocean Springs, Oxford, Schools


6 replies

  1. On my soapbox: Walthall is about 33 miles from Mississippi State University. MSU has a very fine school of architecture. Am I delusional to think that senior students could work on the plans for restoration? Belinda Stewart, architect, a master of courthouse restoration work has her office in Eupora. Her county courthouse restorations: Tate, Pontotoc, Bolivar, Monroe, Prentiss, Yalobusha (2), Quitman, Simpson, Holmes and her own county courthouse – Webster. A new courthouse will be built? Where? Same spot? Will it look like the old – as in Swalm Bldg that mirrors Lee Hall? Must be a lot going on here that I just don’t understand. Someone please enlighten me


  2. Port Gibson’s streets are mainly named for trees. I’ve always assumed China Street was named for the Chinaberry. Just a guess, though.


    • I agree – especially since Chinaberry trees are ubiquitous in historic photos of our downtown streets – they were at one time believed to repel mosquitoes – if only! However these river and Delta towns have also had a history of Chinese neighborhoods. Could be either – or both.


  3. I also don’t understand why the city of Oxford can’t leave the cottage where it is. Surely it could be leased out by the city as a shop or office with its great location on the Square.


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