MissPres News Roundup 2-26-2018

It’s been a bit since the last one, so I think it’s time for another news roundup. Remember you can catch the preservation news as it breaks in our Twitter sidebar, on the MissPres home page.

Starting in Edwards, we have the news from the blog Urban Decay that Smith Hall at the Bonner Campbell Institute has been destroyed. The post also gives us an update on the other buildings on campus. The Institute was featured in one of the rare Abandoned Mississippi posts.


From Jackson‘s Fondren neighborhood, there is news that a Trustmark bank building will be constructed at the corner of Duling Avenue and Old Canton Road. I don’t know when last a building was on this lot, nor have I heard much news out of Fondren since the hotel debacle that lead to the demolition of the Fondren House and the remuddling of the Kolb Cleaners.


Smith Park, showing dry concrete river in foreground, installed in the 1970s along with the cool bandshell in the background. Photo Jan 2017 by Barry White, MDAH, downloaded from MDAH Historic Resources Database.

Staying in Jackson, there is news that the work at Smith Park is almost complete.


Another story from Jackson is that the State might buy the old Dennery’s restaurant, Regency Hotel, and along with the Trade Mart, demolish all of them all for a parking lot. In the article, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith is quoted as saying the Trade Mart building was built in 1962. I’m not sure that’s accurate. Does anyone remember when these buildings were built? It was likely post-1971.


Sad news from Columbus, as a College Street building was demolished as part of a “restoration plan.” Originally built as an auto dealership sometime prior to 1926, over the years it changed to Bishop Sign Company, which remodeled the building with a mid-century modern facade, replete with an eye-catching sign that was still intact until recently. Waukaway Springs took over the building for warehouse use in 2001. Images in the Columbus Dispatch story show the building 90% demolished, looking more like a demolition rather than a restoration. I hate to see such an intact mid-century storefront trashed. Remember folks, we’ve been saying this since 2009, and it’s been true since long before then, Demolition ≠ Preservation.


ABC 24 out of Memphis ran a story on the remodeling of several buildings in downtown Corinth, and their effect on the local economy.


Oxford‘s city planners are looking at a possible new historic district for the Avent Acres neighborhood. The city will be applying for a grant from the MDAH Certified Local Government program to survey and nominate the neighborhood.


Natchez has released a new draft master plan for downtown. I did not read the plan, but while skimming it, I did see that there was mention of stabilizing and restoring some historic buildings that are in danger of collapse. You can view the plan here.


Down Biloxi way, there is news that the old federal courthouse that was abandoned by the Feds c.2004 will soon be demolished and replaced. The Brutalist, low-style edifice, isn’t much-loved, but my only concern is what could replace it. Despite multiple stories, there haven’t been any renderings of the proposed Community Bank branch that will replace it. Biloxi could be swapping one eyesore for another.



From Pass Christian, there is news of the efforts to document the Old Spanish Trail, an early 20th-century marketing program that was utilized to construct a highway running the width of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The effort was part of the larger Good Roads movement.


In Bay St. Louis, there is a story about remodeling a beachfront house that was damaged by Katrina. While the story makes the dubious claim that the house is nearly 300 years old, the MDAH HRI lists the “La Marin Cottage” as having been constructed c.1890, which is still pretty remarkable, considering there are not many buildings that old along the beach that are still standing.


Last but not least there have been several stories about Mississippi’s Native American burial mounds.



Did I miss a story from your neck of Mississippi? If so let us know in the comment section below.

Categories: Architectural Research, Asides, Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Cool Old Places, Demolition/Abandonment, Edwards, Historic Preservation, Jackson, MDAH, MS Dept. of Archives and History, News Roundups, Oxford, Pass Christian, Renovation Projects


3 replies

  1. What in the world, Columbus??


  2. Great roundup although the news isn’t all cheery. I’m concerned about the plan to demolish the trade mart and other buildings. I come once a year to the dog show in the trade mart and yes, it is shabby but still a very useful facility. I wonder if they plan to replace it or just pave it? Every year I get so irritated with Jackson because they are doing nothing to preserve and revitalize downtown Jackson. There is so much potential there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As to the new Trustmark in Fondren, I don’t think there has ever been a building on the property. I just remember it as being part of the Duling school playground. I could almost swear that the current Mississippi Trade Center was built in the 1970’s and certainly not in the early 1960’s. Finally to Beth: they are building a new, better trade center and there are certainly downtown Jackson revitalization projects in the works, not that the city has much to do with any of it. Private money.


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