Lots of good news this week so lets jump right into this week’s roundup.
Good news from Starkville this week, compared to the news last week that fourteen structures including three historic houses were demolished. Starkville Police to open new offices in restored armory building on June 30. We had previously reported in February that a contract with Shafer and Associates Architects was approved by the city for work that includes structural & aesthetic improvements to building. Congratulations to the Starkville Police Department and all those involved for finding a good use for this historic structure
Up in Tupelo, the Tupelo Public School District will soon begin phase one of the Church Street School renovation. The article states that while projects for this phase are minor, including some canopy replacement and HVAC upgrades, a tentative, long-range plan to fully renovate the building and move the district’s central office into it is in the works but contingent on funding. TPSD’s finance and human resources departments are already housed at Church Street, and the building is often used to host events for district employees. The building has not been used as a school since 2011 when Church Street and Carver elementary schools merged.
The only bad news I’m aware of this week comes from Pascagoula. According to WLOX an EF-1 tornado touched down in downtown Pascagoula. The reports I’ve seen so far indicate that damage has been most heavy on some of this city’s unique mid-century buildings. The roof was ripped off of the 1958 Pascagoula High School gymnasium that was designed by Claude H. Lindsley . Over on Market Street, damage to two buildings was significant. A former Hancock Bank had bleachers from a nearby soccer fields thrown through the huge glass windows of the back wall. A former gas station, that has been adaptively reused as a gymnasium, also lost its roof and its roll up doors were blown in. While significant, the damages to these buildings all look to be repairable.
After five years of planning and six months of renovations, the Pearl River County Courthouse in Poplarville should be complete within the month, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
The focus of the renovation project is to maintain the integrity of the historic building while updating the interior to meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, which ensures handicapped individuals have equal access to the facility’s public services, Lumpkin said…
…The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors set a total budget of $1.2 million for the renovations, half of which came from a Community Development Block Grant from the Mississippi Development Authority…
The project was overseen by Landry and Lewis Architects, and BW Sullivan Contracting executed the work. All work is expected to be complete by the end of July. The courthouse was originally completed in 1918 having been designed by architect Penn Jeffries Krouse.
An old radio station in Laurel has been rehabilitated as a local brewery. According to WDAM, the building’s owners Kenny Mann and his wife, Carrie, could see past a crumbling facade and had ideas for the space on West Fifth Avenue. Mr. Mann described all the work they completed on the building saying while it was difficult the project was a dream of his.
Several years ago at a Mississippi Main Street Association meeting on design, a reuse project idea for the building stumped the panel. While this panel was stumped the Manns had a plan and thanks to their perseverance this past week, they were awarded the “Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Project” by the Mississippi Main Street Association. The award is granted to the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use.
An interesting piece online about how to consider “newly historic” places such as phone booths (and maybe gas stations and fast food joints?) that are near or arriving at the 50 year mark guideline for being eligible for the National Register and how do we address history verses nostalgia?
As the 50-year guideline of being eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places ever advances, cultural resource specialists continually assess properties that are newly historic. Some properties challenge assumptions on what has traditionally been considered important.
…“What do properties tell us of our history?” and “Why does this matter?”
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: Cool Old Places, Courthouses, Disasters, Grants, Historic Preservation, Industrial, Laurel, Modernism, MS Dept. of Archives and History, National Register, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Poplarville, Preservation People/Events, Recent Past, Renovation Projects, Schools, Starkville, Tupelo