MissPres News Roundup 6-13-2017

Lets jump right into this week’s roundup.

Starting in Starkville, fourteen structures including three historic houses were demolished this week for an “a planned upscale, mixed-use development that will include retail shops and loft apartments”

The article gives the developers obligatory “we tried to save the houses but we couldn’t” excuse.  Maybe some of our Starkville friends can fill us in on this story.


A project to use GPS points to document Columbus‘ historic Friendship Cemetery is underway.  If you’ve ever tried to locate a plot in a cemetery you know how helpful a map like this can be.


This is an Earlier Photo from 2007 Showing the Auditorium Entrance Before the Sign was Stolen.

In Pascagoula, plans to restore the old Pascagoula High School auditorium as a state of the art performing arts center for the children there has been cancelled due to lack of on site parking.  The new facility will now be built on the ball fields at the current high school.  This is tragic that the city will miss out on a great opportunity for a wonderful facility just because of a perceived parking issue.  You might remember the old Pascagoula High School building was one of MHT 10 Most Endangered Places in 2000 after it was abandoned by the school district in 1997.  Katrina gave the building a second whammy when portions of the complex flooded during Hurricane Katrina.  Fortunately in 2010 the majority of the complex was rehabilitated as senior citizen apartments.


Vicksburg Mississippi River Bridges Sept 2015 J Baughn, MDAH HRI Database accessed 6-12-17

I nervously received the news Sunday that the Old Highway 80 and Interstate 20 bridges over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg were struck by barge traffic.  The good news is that an engineers inspection of the bridges revealed that no serious damage was done by the incident.  The Old Highway 80 bridge was built in 1928-30 and the I-20 bridge was constructed in 1973.



Kuhn Hospital, one of the popular Abandoned Mississippi series.

Other interesting news out of Vicksburg, the city was approved for two $200k grants from the EPA for abatement work at the Kuhn Memorial Hospital.  I might be mistaken or have missed something, but this is the first article I recall where there is talk of keeping the buildings.

“We would like to repurpose the property and put it back into production. We have a couple of scenarios laid out, and one is for residential development. The back building could serve as multi-family housing or condominiums,” he said. “It has some asbestos on the floor, but that could all be removed. We have no concrete plan for the back building yet. If we could find a developer willing to come forward and invest their money and work with us, we could help them achieve that goal.”

Maybe the city final understands that they have to abate lead and asbestos whether or not they demolish the buildings, and after the abatement is completed the demolition will still remain costly.  Might as well put that money back into restoring your freshly abated building for a new use! Has restoring any of the buildings on the site always been part of the conversation or is this something new?


From the Corinth area, a historic gas station structure is the focus of possible downtown redevelopment efforts.



The Library of Congress announced that they will provide access to digital Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for all the states online by 2020.  This will include maps from the late 1880s through the early 1960s.  These wonderful maps are indispensable when researching buildings inside city limits.  No estimated date is given when the addition of all Mississippi Sanborn maps will be complete on LOC.gov, but currently three sets of maps are available Pascagoula; 1904, & 1918 and Pontotoc; 1898 all scanned in glorious color!


This is certainly not all the preservation news going on in Mississippi.  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: Bridges, Cemeteries, Corinth, Demolition/Abandonment, Grants, Historic Preservation, Hospitals/Medical, Lost Mississippi, Mississippi Heritage Trust, News Roundups, Preservation People/Events, Renovation Projects


4 replies

  1. I know of a person who asked for a brick from the home, as it was being bulldozed. He was told no. Either the interior was stripped for resale, or it was all destroyed. I’m willing the bet the latter, since this caught so many people in Starkville by surprise.


  2. The developer says he allowed people to come in and get what was meaningful to them???? How about saving the homes? Now that is meaningful.


  3. The Starkville situation points to the importance of local historic preservation ordinances, as those are the only way for preservation to be considered when demolition permits are issued. In this case, I’m told that while there are two local historic districts in Starkville, overseen by the fairly young Starkville Historic Preservation Commission (I think it was established around 2010), these houses had not been designated yet as local survey work is still going in phases. Local preservation is the hardest because it forces confrontations, but it’s the only really effective way to do preservation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kuhn Memorial Charity Hospital is a real mess after decades of neglect. The rear building was sturdy originally, but all plumbing and electrical work has been vandalized or decayed. The front building (the one closest to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.), has a partial roof collapse.


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