Let’s jump right into this week’s roundup.
In Jackson we have a couple of stories. The Mt. Olive Cemetery on Lynch Street, a resting place of former slaves, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read the nomination here. The nomination was funded by a 2016 MDAH Certified Local Government grant. This funding also covered the restoration of the Jim Hill and Ida Revels Redmond grave markers in the cemetery.
Smith Park in downtown Jackson has begun the second phase of a renovation planned by Downtown Jackson Partners. Recently, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History approved the plans, which include the removal of the 1970s era concrete stream.
From Columbus we have news that Lowndes County has moved forward with attempting to purchase and demolish a historic house at 223 6th Street, listed on the National Register as part of the Columbus Central Commercial Historic District. The County Board of Supervisors have asked the Lipscomb estate, which currently owns the house, to demolish the building, stating the the County could not demolish the structure without MDAH approval. The property is also located within the locally designated Columbus Historic Preservation District, so any demolition will have to go through the local historic preservation commisssion, but if they don’t hold the line, this will be the continuation of a disturbing trend for a town that is nationally known for its history and preservation.
A couple of stories from Natchez. The set decorations for the James Brown biopic “Get on Up” that transformed the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center auditorium into a stand-in for the NYC Apollo Theater will finally be coming down.
To address some of the vacant buildings in downtown Natchez, Alcorn State University, Natchez Inc. and area Realtors joined together to host a ‘Possibilities Tour.’ The tour included about seven buildings in Natchez and five across the river in Vidalia, LA. The Democrat article doesn’t list any specific buildings toured, but this seems like a great idea to get folks interested in some of the historic buildings Natchez has to offer.
In national news…
Preservation Chicago, a preservation advocacy group, is requesting landmark status be granted by the City for Emmett Till’s Chicago Woodlawn neighborhood home and the nearby school he attended.
The Federal Preservation Tax Credit still has not been placed back in the reformed tax code plan. Here is what the National Trust for Historic Preservation recommends you can do to help save the preservation tax credits (link below). It only takes a minute, so consider doing your part.
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: African American History, Columbus, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Grants, Historic Preservation, Jackson, MDAH, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, National Register, National Trust, News Roundups, Renovation Projects, Urban/Rural Issues
Sad to read of the demise of Smith Park. A highlight of downtown, fondly remembered from the early/mid-80’s. The “safety” issue seems to always come up when historic buildings and sites are demolished, for some reason…
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