Why do we need another blog in the world?  It seems like half the people in the world already have a blog; the other half look puzzled and say, “What’s a blog?” Well, there’s no blog about historic preservation in M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. Until now.

MissPres (the hip short name for “Preservation in Mississippi”) started in February 2009 to create a forum to discuss historic buildings, places, and even a few people in Mississippi. MissPres is about old buildings, not just “Grand Buildings”: schools, cotton gins, churches, courthouses, farmhouses, post offices; antebellum, postbellum, even post-WWII; well-loved places and abandoned places, and everything in between. On MissPres, we like to spend time looking at the details and minutiae of historic architecture, but we also enjoy taking a broader view of the preservation scene in Mississippi and the rest of the country.

Your comments help provide perspective and create a community of preservationists: discussions sometimes take a silly turn or stick to serious issues, but please always keep comments respectful and criticism helpful.

MissPres is not an official blog of any organization. Which means we don’t get paid for our blog posts or for how many people agree with us. It also means we sometimes verge on wackiness, because we’re real people, not paid professionals.

About the Authors

I grew up in the Florida Panhandle, but I’ve been in preservation in Mississippi for over a decade now and have spent lots of time in each of the 82 counties in the state. Mississippi is so incredibly diverse–the Delta, the Hills, the Piney Woods, the Natchez district, and the Coast are all distinct, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to spend time getting to know places and people in every area. I have degrees in Social Studies Education and History, so I’m not an architectural historian by education, but I figure looking at (and under and over) as many historic buildings as I have gives me the right to at least have an opinion. Whether anyone wants to hear those opinions is another thing entirely, of course. . . .

Those of you who know about Mississippi architects will have figured out that ELMalvaney isn’t my real name. Edgar Lucian Malvaney is one of my favorite architects, and for a variety of reasons, I’ve adopted his name as my pen name. I started the blog, and serve as administrator and author.

I have lived in Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. with lots of time in Florida as well.  I love to travel–over 60 countries if you stretch the limit a bit (how does one define a visit?). I earned my B.S. in Interior Design at LSU in 1987, and have worked in hotel management for too many years to mention. I am a self-described hotel, restaurant and travel nut, and photography is my newest craze.

I joined MissPres as an author in September 2009.

I am from the Shoals area of Alabama (which comprises the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) and graduated from Mississippi State University in Starkville. I bring to this blog a wide ranging amount of reading on American, specifically Southern, architecture.

I joined MissPres as an author in March 2010.

A native Mississippian, I recently retired after 25 years as a historical archaeologist with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. I’ve done fieldwork in the Middle East, but live in a Greek Revival cottage in the middle of a cow pasture in Palo Alto, Clay County. My primary interests are the everyday experiences of transcendence arising from the experience of history and place.

I joined MissPres as a contributor in May 2010.

I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and have had an interest in preservation for twenty five years. I have been lucky enough to work in different aspects of the field for the past twenty years. My current area of focus is grants management, but I have worked in archival, interpretive, materials conservation, and building restoration arenas as well.

I joined MissPres as a contributor in July 2010.

I’m a native Texan, although I received my undergraduate degree here in Mississippi.  After completing my graduate degree in my home state, I was happy to return to Mississippi to work in Historic Preservation.  Mostly I’ll keep tabs on preservation news around the state, but I’ll weigh in with other ideas and posts from time to time as well.  Like EL Malvaney, I have adopted a pseudonym for the MissPres universe.  James Reily Gordon typically designed courthouses – many of them in Texas, but some right here in the Magnolia State – hence my attachment to him.

I joined MissPres as an author in October 2010.

Goals/Topics for MissPres

1.  Help create and sustain a community of informed preservationists in Mississippi. We can help each other save the places we love if only we’ll talk to each other. We hope you’ll feel free to talk back in comments and/or start a conversation. MissPres is about building community, not tearing it apart. To that end, please observe the following:

  • No cussing
  • Always be respectful and mature (not inflammatory, no personal attacks, etc.)
  • If you’ve said your piece, don’t just keep reiterating it over and over
  • Keep on-topic as much as possible unless the comment thread has naturally evolved over time
  • Cussing will be edited out or completely deleted, as called for. Disrespectful, vicious, or otherwise hateful comments will be deleted and the commenters banned from MissPres. E.L. Malvaney moderates the discussions and is known to have no patience for screamers and irrational people.

2.  Discuss various preservation issues in Mississippi, not just individual battles to save historic places, but also the general condition of preservation in the state where, according to Faulkner, “The past isn’t dead.  It isn’t even past.”

3.  Highlight cool Mississippi buildings from all eras (even *gasp* the twentieth century!).

4.  Let you know about important events that every budding (and not-so-budding) preservationist should attend.

5.  Highlight people and organizations that are fighting to preserve the places they love in Mississippi.  They never get the credit they deserve.

6.  Link to other sites and articles that discuss preservation nationally.

7.  Have fun for a change.  Preservation is about living with history and making your place a better place–why always so serious??

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