MissPres News Roundup 5-23-2016

Preservation Month has been a busy one. Here’s what’s been happening since our last news roundup a few weeks ago.


Today at 10 AM, the ceremony celebrating the opening of the Mississippi Mound Trail will kick off at Winterville Mounds.



Speaking of Mississippi Mounds, the National Trust’s magazine Preservation had a nice article in its Winter 2016 issue by University of Mississippi English professor Beth Ann Fennelly, titled “In Plain Sight: Sacred Sites in Mississippi.”

This past fall, my husband, my three children, and I decided to counter the “drive by” with the “drive to.” We planned a trip to see how many mound sites we could visit within a day’s drive from our home in Oxford, and what we could learn from

We began by understanding that these ancient landforms were built by different peoples at different times for different purposes. Mound building here began more than 2,000 years ago and continued sporadically for the next 18 centuries. That wide swath of time spans two archaeological eras: first the Woodland Period, which saw a transition from mobile, seasonal settlements to more permanent, year-round settlements, and then the Mississippian Period, when inhabitants of this region became skilled farmers and artisans.


Read more . . .


Church Street Elementary (1936, Overstreet & Town, archts.)

Church Street Elementary (1936, Overstreet & Town, archts.)

According to the Daily Journal, Tupelo’s Church Street Elementary School, the monolithic concrete Art Moderne-style building designed by Overstreet & Town after the devastating 1936 tornado, is due for some work this summer. This is hoped to be a prelude to moving the school district’s offices into the building, which was vacated in 2011 due to school consolidation.

The Tupelo Public School District school board voted at Tuesday’s board meeting to approve JBHM Architects to draw up plans for a new parking lot and security fence and gate at the historic school building

. . . .

TPSD’s finance and human resources departments are already located at Church Street, and the building is often used to host professional development and other events for district employees.In addition to the construction work, the curriculum department will move to Church Street as part of this phase.

Cantrell said the cost of the projects will be between $135,000 to $155,000. The work will be funded through district funds.

Read more . . .


Thanks to MissPres reader Beauregard Rippy for pointing out this historic view of the building at 501 Cruise in Corinth, located in the Ole Miss archives.

Thanks to MissPres reader Beauregard Rippy for pointing out this historic view of the building at 501 Cruise (roughly at the center with lettering on facade) in Corinth, located in the Ole Miss archives.

Also up in the northeast part of the state, the three-story Italianate commercial building at 501 Cruise Street, suffered a partial and sudden collapse of its brick parapet last Tuesday. The MDAH Historic Resources Database gives a date of c.1877 for the building and notes that it is listed on the National Register as part of the Downtown Corinth Historic District. No one was hurt, but four cars parked on the street were damaged. The fire department later pushed down the rest of the parapet because bricks were continuing to fall, according to the Daily Corinthian article, “Downtown building’s eave collapses.” You can see video of the later parapet demolition at WTVA.A follow-up article in the Daily Corinthian on Friday indicates that the building has been vacated:

The tenants at 501 Cruise Street have been vacated amid lingering concern about the stability of the building where bricks tumbled to the sidewalk Tuesday afternoon.

It’s a situation that has the city thinking about the stability of other older downtown buildings and considering requesting inspections.

. . . .

The building owner brought in a structural engineer who evaluated the damage along with Tyson on Thursday and Friday.

“He and I both made the determination that the building is too dangerous to occupy until it gets repaired,” Tyson said.

A masonry specialist for older buildings was also on site Friday afternoon.

Read more . . .


Chapel of the Cross Cemetery

Chapel of the Cross Cemetery

Much-needed repair work at the famous Chapel of the Cross cemetery in Madison County is underway and has been covered both in the Clarion-Ledger and on Walt Grayson’s “Look Around” series on WLBT. 

With the help of master stone mason Michael Drummond Davidson of Eupora, the church’s cemetery guild is ensuring the historic gravestones receive needed maintenance, so that for years to come all who visit may read and remember the history they represent.

Davidson and his technician Thomas Torres have spent the last few weeks carefully cleaning 35 gravestones and repairing some that had shifted or were broken.

. . . .

The gravestone of Henry Grey Vick, which is topped with a cross, was cleaned. Vick was engaged to marry Margaret Johnstone’s daughter, Helen, but died in a duel in New Orleans just a few days before their wedding and was buried on what supposed to have been his wedding day.

Read more . . . 

And see the video on Walt’s Look Around.


Great news from Prospect Hill in Jefferson County, a property we at MissPres have been interested in saving since the first days of this blog. Work is now underway to stabilize the porches and other rotted sections of the house and put a new roof on the building. This is the latest Facebook post showing some of the progress.


And finally, congratulations to Belinda Stewart Architects for their latest award for the outstanding restoration of the Tallahatchie County Courthouse at Sumner.



Categories: African American History, Antebellum, Architectural Research, Cemeteries, Civil Rights, Corinth, Courthouses, Delta, Disasters, Historic Preservation, Mississippi Landmarks, News Roundups, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects, Sumner, Tupelo


2 replies

  1. Unfortunately, the parapet collapse on that Cruise St. building could possibly lead to various other cornices being lopped off in Corinth, especially if city inspectors start looking around and seeing the poor condition of many of them. Property owners, particularly ones that already do not properly maintain their buildings, could just lop off their buildings’ cornices and be done with the matter, instead of spending actual money to properly restore them.


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