Last week several news stories from Natchez popped into my inbox, both of which contain good news for two iconic, and fire ravaged buildings.
Firstly, after sixteen years, the Natchez Preservation Commission is moving forward with a legal battle to save the historic and privately owned Arlington property. You might recall that the house built in 1818 suffered from a disastrous fire on September 17, 2002. Shortly after the fire an emergency roof was constructed by the Historic Natchez Foundation to protect what remained of the building, but the owner, Tom Vaughan of Jackson, has done nothing to the house since the fire.
“We’re entering a 90-day period during which the owner has a chance to make repairs,” Riccardo Giani, Natchez planning and zoning director said. “By Jan. 9, the city can proceed with fines. … If the mayor and the board of aldermen decided to hire a team of contractors to make repairs on the building … they could put a lien on his taxes to pay for it.”
Simms, Sabrina “City makes move to save historic house Arlington” Natchez Democrat 18 Oct., 2018
Hopefully this is the start of a bright new future for Arlington. The house is one of only thirteen properties in the state that holds the distinction of being listed on the National Register, is a National Historic Landmark, and is a Mississippi Landmark. Bonus points for folks who can name the other twelve off the top of their head.
The second new story is regarding the much more recent fire to the former Prentiss Club building. Built in 1904-1905 the building was undergoing a rehabilitation that was almost complete when a fire ripped through the building and destroyed the roof back in September. Originally a red tile roof, a temporary asphalt shingle roof will go back on the building to save the structure from the elements.
I hope these two stories of bad news looking up will get your week started off right!