We missed our round-up last week, and I feel a little behind on the preservation goings on in Mississippi but let’s jump right in to this week’s roundup.
Over the next few weeks all across the state, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will be hosting free preservation workshops open to the public. It looks like each of the four sessions might cover slightly different topics but they generally all seem to cover:
- Historic Preservation Planning
- Historic Resources Inventory Database
- Economics of Preservation
- Preservation Law and Local Historic Districts
The Architecture History Section is hitting the road in March for our regional training sessions in Biloxi, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Greenville. All sessions are free and open to the public. For more information and to sign up, follow the links! Thanks so much to our local Historic Preservation Commission/Certified Local Government and Main Street partners for helping us come to your communities.
If this sounds of interest to you be sure to sign up!
In Columbus, the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau is moving into early fundraising stages for restoring the Elks Lodge building downtown before converting it to a children’s museum. You might remember from our last news round-up that the lodge was toured by folks who attended the Mississippi Heritage Trust 25th anniversary event this past February 16th.
A brief caption accompanying a photo in the Enterprise Journal shares that the Old Pike County Chancery Clerk’s Office in Holmesville is being rehabilitated. The use of power grinders in the photo is somewhat alarming. Please be careful when repointing masonry structures. Power grinders can irreversibly damage historic buildings. Using power saws on walls with thin joints, such as most brick walls, almost always will result in damage to the masonry units by breaking the brick edges and by overcutting on the head joint, or vertical joints. The traditional manner of removing old mortar is through the use of hand chisels and mash hammers. Though labor-intensive, in most instances this method poses the least threat for damage to historic masonry units and produces the best final product. You can learn more about proper masonry repair in the National Park Service’s Preservation Brief #2 Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
In Gulfport the developer of the former Veterans Administration Hospital announced at the Mississippi Historical Society meeting that hopefully work will soon begin to rehabilitate several of the buildings as a hotel on the historic beach front VA campus. One interesting fact I learned while researching this story is that the former VA complex was designated a National Register Historic District in 2014. This designation likely happened as part of an effort to pursue historic tax credits.
The Threefoot Building in Meridian is back in the news. Meridian’s skyline-defining structure was given two thumbs up during an environmental and property condition assessment. The preservation quote of the week just might come from project consultant Kevin McMahon: “People don’t realize the financial payoffs (of this type of project) – they sometimes just want to tear it down and build something cheap in the same place,” he said. “But I think when you start looking at the charm that historic buildings bring, people like coming and spending money in these places.” Currently the National Park Service is reviewing the proposed project as part of the Historic Tax Credit eligibility. Once the NPS has approved the plans the entire rehabilitation is expected to take from 14 to 18 months.
The Oxford Eagle is reporting that two historic buildings, 114 & 116 on Oxford‘s Courthouse Square were damaged when struck by a vehicle in the early morning hours of Feb, 27. The damage appears to be mostly to the storefronts, but the article indicates there may be some structural damage as well.
An interesting story this week from Curbed.com was about seven easy tips to research your (or any) historic house. It’s a story worth reading whether you are a seasoned researcher, or are just interested in learning where to begin learning about your own home.
Like always I am sure I probably missed quite a few stories, so if you know of any preservation-related news items not mentioned, or if you have more information about a story above please let us know in the comments below.
Categories: Biloxi, Columbus, Courthouses, Greenville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Historic Preservation, MDAH, Meridian, Mississippi Heritage Trust, MS Dept. of Archives and History, News Roundups, Preservation Education, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects, Schools, Starkville