MissPres News Roundup 5-8-2018

It has been a busy two weeks for the preservation world since our last roundup, so let’s jump right into today’s roundup.

From Meridian comes an interesting story about the future of the city’s 1932 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. According to the article, Lauderdale County Supervisors have inquired about the Art Deco Style courthouse as a possible location to relocate some county offices from the Lauderdale County Courthouse. You might remember that the U.S. federal court system announced it would be closing the Meridian office, but the post office will remain open in the lobby of the former federal building. Also good news from the story, there doesn’t seem to be any more mention of demolishing anything.


Columbus Dispatch file photo for Burns Bottom neighborhood.

The Columbus Redevelopment Authority (CRA) has asked the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to survey properties along a five block stretch of the neighborhood near downtown Columbus — between North Third and Fourth streets that run north-to-south between Second and Seventh avenues — to see if any properties should be designated as Mississippi landmarks protected by the state antiquities law.


A pair of bridge stories this week from Vicksburg.

(Old) Mississippi River Bridge Vicksburg, Warren County. from Vicksburg Post.

First is that the group “Friends of the Vickburg Bridge” was originally on the Warren County Board of Supervisors Monday agenda for a resolution asking the supervisors to have the Warren County Bridge Commission open the 88-year old structure to year-round bicyclist and pedestrian traffic. They were removed from the agenda because the supervisors need more time to make an “informed decision,” according to Board President Richard George. Currently the old Mississippi River Bridge is only open to the public for special events.


I-20 Bridge Vicksburg, Warren County. From the Vicksburg Post.

The other story is that analysis by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) concludes that the I-20 bridge built in 1973 is still structurally safe, but in need of repairs.


From Rodney, there were several stories about the efforts of the Rodney History and Preservation Society.



On Ship Island, the Gulf Island National Seashore shares news that the pass between East and West Ship Islands known as Camille Cut after the storm that created the pass, is in the process of being filled in. This is an interesting ecological project that also will restore the island to a historic appearance.

In statewide news the Clarion-Ledger ran an article about the National Park Service (NPS) efforts towards creating civil rights national monuments. Last week MissPres shared a flyer concerning public input meetings the NPS will be hosting at several locations in the upcoming days. Yesterday, meetings were held in the Delta, while today meetings will be in Jackson. Tomorrow and Thursday will see public meetings held in Philadelphia and in Biloxi.


Remember you can catch the preservation news as it breaks in our Twitter sidebar to the right. =====>>

I undoubtedly missed a story or two. 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, Antebellum, Bridges, Civil Rights, Columbus, Courthouses, Delta, Demolition/Abandonment, Gulf Coast, Historic Landscapes, Historic Preservation, Meridian, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, Natchez, National Park Service, National Register, News Roundups, Preservation Law/Local Commissions, Renovation Projects, Rodney


8 replies

  1. Any idea why they skipped Hattiesburg for the NPS meeting? Does the Hburg area just not have suitable places? To be honest, I can think of many Civil Rights Movement related sites in the Hburg area but none that might work with NPS takeover.


    • I think it might directly relate to the 2017 law the U.S. Congress passed directing the NPS to conduct a special resource study of Mississippi’s nationally significant civil rights sites, with specific buildings listed in Jackson, Philidelphia, and Biloxi, along with sites associated with Emmett Till. The law might have more specific reasoning in its language.


  2. I attended a meeting today in Jackson and the five sites were specified in the legislation, but they are allowed to consider other sites as well, so they are encouraging public comment about other sites they should be looking at. If you can’t attend a meeting, you can comment via their website.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, the Columbus CRA and City Attorney hizzoner Jeff Turnage thinks MDAH should treat them “fairly”?
    This after the CRA brokered with the City demo company to demolish the historic houses prior to contacting MDAH?! Jeff Turnage keeps hanging his hat on his fruitless “title searches”, but won’t own up to being either ignorant or dismissive of Antiquities laws. Either way, he is showing himself unqualified for his tasks. Our hope is MDAH will find the Burns House and any other houses as contributing, and urge the CRA to sell the Burns Cannon house to Mr. Bob Raymond post haste.


  4. And now, low and behold, the Columbus CRA wants MDAH to declare the old Lee High School building with Landmark status. Why declare it a landmark, but yet desire to tear down the Burns Cannon house?. So that developer can get tax credits? I just hope there isn’t any horse trading happening with MDAH. Why the secrecy with the property Developer, and still no Site Plan?


  5. Very interesting about Ship Island, here almost 49 years later! Surprised I hadn’t heard about that, so thanks.


  6. Good news from Hattiesburg: The HPD Police Annex at the old Methodist hospital site at the end of Main street is in the process of being demolished by Malone demolition, saving the original hospital building. And just down Edwards street the old Wrangler cut-n-sew plant is being demolished. Many of the textile cut-n-sew plants were brought into Mississippi during the New Deal through the efforts of Governors White and Bilbo.
    A good read on this is USM Professor Chester Morgan’s book– Theodore G. Bilbo: Red Neck Liberal of the New Deal
    The old Reliance plant in downtown Hattiesburg was part of that movement of textile jobs to the South lured here by WPA- financed infrastructure.


  7. That jeans garment plant was big Yank, not Wrangler.


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