Let’s jump right on in to this week’s roundup.
Starting near West Point, the planned May demolition of the Mississippi Landmark-designated Admissions Building at the Mary Holmes Community College has been reported by WCBI. As the building is a Mississippi Landmark, having been designated as such in 2006, a Mississippi Landmark permit will be needed from MDAH before a demolition can take place. As the removal of the building is proposed to use federal EPA funds, this project would also trigger a Section 106 review. Since the building is already listed as a contributing structure in the Mary Holmes Junior College Historic District, its historic significance is clear. Hopefully the current owners can work with MDAH to find an option other than destruction for this stately Colonial Revival structure.
In Tupelo, demolition began on the former Ramada Inn last week and by now it is likely complete. As we reported on this building back in February, it was built in 1972 as a Ramada Inn and is just 5 years shy of being 50 years old. It’s important that we monitor these demolitions of maybe-not-quite-yet historic structures. While you personally may not be excited about the building, remind yourself, what might future generations think about this building? Ada Louise Huxtable put it best… “we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.” Only time might tell on this one.
The Delta Democrat Times reports that renovations to Greenville‘s Y&MV railroad depot could include replacing the roof. Once the renovation work began, it was realized how bad a shape the roof was actually in. The Greenville Historic Preservation Commission believes the cost of the new roof could be taken care of with money from the original grant. I am not sure what grant the article was referencing.
The Urban Decay blog reported that a protective fence had gone up around the Kuhn Memorial Hospital in Vicksburg back in November. I haven’t seen any updates on the city’s EPA Brownfield grant applications or how the historic nature of the site might affect the ability to use federal funds to demolish.
For Jackson‘s capitol complex improvement district, recently passed by the Legislature, it was determined that the Mississippi Department of Finance Administration must incorporate requirements of the Department of Archives & History into the master plan for state investment in the municipal infrastructure. Perhaps this will mean the preservation of some significant historic streetscape features in the capital city.
Mississippi Today featured an article on the restoration of Jackson‘s mid-century modern Weiner House.
In Jackson, Walt Grayson reports that a project to complete the fence around downtown Jackson’s Greenwood Cemetery was recently finished. Greenwood is the resting place of several well-known names to MissPres folks, such as architect William Stanton and builders William McGee and Francis Blair Hull.
In Natchez, the city was prepared to look at proposals for the reuse of the former Natchez General Hospital, built in 1925. The city received two proposals for the Claude H. Lindsley designed structure but ultimately decided to table the decision in favor of a public hearing. This public hearing is set to be held on April 25.
Good news for Gulfport’s historic library. Coast Transit Authority Executive Director Kevin Coggin said that CTA has signed a 40-year lease of the Hurricane Katrina-damaged structure and the restoration will include “maintaining the architectural integrity of the building, and re-purposing it to a highly functional, brand new, intermodal center.” After a lot of bad preservation news out of Gulfport recently, it is nice to see a positive story.
Staying down on the coast, the City of Biloxi is mulling over funding a study that will look at the effects of undoing portions of the 1970s urban renewal street plan and restoring downtown’s Howard Avenue to two-way traffic.
The biggest news story since our last roundup was the theft of historic materials from the 1826 Shaifer House outside of Port Gibson. News agencies as far away as England pickup on the MDAH press release.
Remember there is still a $5,000 Reward being offer by the Port Gibson Heritage Trust Battlefield Committee for info leading to the arrest and conviction of thieves responsible for damages done to the Shaifer House.
It is once again time to nominate your favorite preservation project for a Southeastern Architectural Historians “Best of the South: Preserving Southern Architecture Award,” nominations due July 1, 2017.
Past Mississippi winners have been; Beauvoir (2009), the Hattiesburg African-American USO (2010), the Charnley-Norwood House (2014), and the Tallahatchie County Courthhouse (2015).
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that Hart Family Fund for Small Towns grant applications are due May 1, 2017. According to the National Trust’s webpage:
Grants from the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns are intended to encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects in small towns. These grants help stimulate public discussion, enable local groups to gain the technical expertise needed for particular projects, introduce the public to preservation concepts and techniques, and encourage financial participation by the private sector.
Grants from the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns generally range from $2,500 to $15,000. The selection process is very competitive. The review process is generally completed within three months of the application deadline, and applicants are notified via email once the review process is complete.
The application deadline is May 1, 2017.
Like always, I probably missed a story or two, 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, Civil War, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Greenville, Gulfport, Historic Landscapes, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Jackson, MDAH, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, National Park Service, National Register, National Trust, News Roundups, Port Gibson, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Recent Past, Renovation Projects, Tupelo, Universities/Colleges