Check out

the current list of the

10 Most Endangered Historic Places


The goal of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list is to raise awareness about the most threatened historic places in Mississippi and the dangers they are facing which could lead to their destruction.

Check out the current list by clicking here.





The Mississippi Heritage Awards are given out every other year to honor individuals and organizations from around the state whose projects show commitment to excellence in preservation. The next set of awards will be presented in spring of 2004 at the Experience Mississippi Historic Preservation Conference in Hattiesburg. Please visit the award section for 2000 and 1999 to learn about the previous award winners.




Lyceum Building, Oxford, Mississippi:
Award Level: Excellence
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Institutional
Owner: University of Mississippi
Architect: David Morris of Eley Associates, Jackson
Contractor: Roy Anderson Corporation

Designed by William Nichols, the Lyceum at the University of Mississippi was constructed in 1848 to serve as an academic facility and administration building. As the school grew through the decades, so did the building. In 1903 architect Theodore Link added wings to the north and south sides, and in 1923 he installed a portico and central hall extensions. The building was restored to its 1923 appearance in an outstanding rehabilitation project completed by David Morris, architect, and Roy Anderson Corporation, contractor, in 2001. Great attention to detail defines this project. For example, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History had recommended that in the absence of original photographs of the mantels, Morris look to the mantels in the Nichols-designed Governors Mansion, also constructed in 1848. Using a cast mold, Morris had exact replicas made of the Governors Mansion mantels.
The rehabilitated structure will continue its academic function by housing the upper administration of the University. The beautifully rehabilitated Lyceum will also host ceremonial functions and serve as the University’s executive office building. The attention to details sets this project above its peers and merits an Award of Excellence.



Preservation 101, Biloxi, Mississippi:
Award Level: Excellence
Award Category: Preservation Award: Preservation Education
Project Funders: City of Biloxi and
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Project Coordinator: Lolly Barnes, Historical Administrator, City of Biloxi

Preservation 101 is an educational program created and administered by the City of Biloxi in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. This educational project was undertaken during the school year, running from September 2000 through May 2001. Eight lectures, twenty-two field trips, and a graduation ceremony at the historic White House Hotel were the program highlights. Preservation 101 also offered a summer program for children that included hands-on crafts and architectural field trips. A total of 1,086 adults and 447 children participated in Preservation 101. Each person received a copy of The Buildings of Biloxi, and field trips consisted of trolley and walking tours. The Preservation Class of 2001 was awarded with a reception, tours of restoration sites, certificates, and class T-shirts. This $30,000 project was the collaborative effort of non-profit organizations, local businesses, civic organizations, churches, synagogues, and homeowners, and municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. Participating children and adults gained a better understanding of the economics of preservation, the city’s architectural styles, and history in general.



Saenger Theater, Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
Award Level: Excellence
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Institutional
Owner: City of Hattiesburg
Architect: Larry Albert of Albert & Associates Architects, Hattiesburg
Contractor: Trademark, Mobile, Alabama
Other: Commercial Building Interiors (seating), W.E. Davis &
Sons (rigging & curtain), Magnolia State School Products (lighting), Chain Electric (sound), Knight Sign Industries (marquee sign), Carl Frederickson (faux finish), Dee Tatum of Seraphim Studio (glass artist), Eldridge & Associates (mechanical), Watkins-O’Gwynn (electrical), Reid Engineering & Industrial Design (structural), and B.L. Chain of City of Hattiesburg Construction Committee

Originally designed by New Orleans architect Emile Weil, the Saenger Theater opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1929. This Mississippi Landmark is an outstanding example of an Art Deco building. This Performing Arts Center is over 20,000 square feet and would probably cost $10 million dollars to construct today. Although improvements were made in 1976 and 1981, a complete rehabilitation was needed to bring the theater up to code and technology standards. Hattiesburg architect Larry Albert has completed a rehabilitation that protects the elegant historic integrity of the theater while making necessary changes such as the addition of a sprinkler system.
The building’s original plaster detailing, which had been destroyed by water damage, has been restored, and the original carpet has been replicated. The restoration project provided the beautiful theater with a much-needed upgrade while allowing it to remain a historic treasure.



Tate County Courthouse, Senatobia, Mississippi:
Award Level: Excellence
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Institutional
Owner: Tate County Board of Supervisors
Architect: Belinda J. Stewart, Eupora
Contractor: Panola Construction Company, Inc., Batesville
Other: Karen Patterson (faux-painting) and George Fore (historic
paint analysis)

Designed by Memphis architect James Bartholomew Cook, the Tate County Courthouse was completed circa 1875. It was enlarged in 1904 by Sardis architects Andrew and Son, the chancery vault was added in 1956, and an annex was added in 1974. But the building did not meet accessibility standards, and with time and deterioration, had also fallen below building-code standards. Architect Belinda Stewart undertook a restoration that would return the courthouse to its original appearance while bringing it up to modern code standards. Throughout the project, the courthouse remained open for business. A non-original balcony has been removed, the original color scheme is in place again, a stairway has been restored, and the building now closely resembles its historic photographs. The Tate County Courthouse is a shining example of the value of restoring historic courthouses rather than constructing new facilities.




211 Fulton Street, Greenwood, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Smith and Company Outfitters
Architect: Samuel H. Kaye, Columbus

Located in Greenwood’s Central Commercial and Railroad Historic District, the Neoclassical-Revival-style building at 211 Fulton Street was constructed circa 1920. This three-story brick structure had been used for storage prior to Howard and Barbara Smith’s purchase and was in relatively good condition with a high degree of historical integrity. The rehabilitation included re-opening and restoring the transoms, reconstructing a missing display window, repairing the original windows and canopy, refinishing floors, and removing fluorescent lights, radiators, and a sprinkler system to uncover the pressed metal ceiling. The result of this exemplary project is a modern store, Smith & Company Outfitters, in a historic facility.



411 Franklin, Natchez, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Tuscany Group, LLC
Project Coordinator: David Preziosi, city planner, City of Natchez
Contractor: Mike Glidden

The historic commercial building located at 411 Franklin Street was damaged in a 1998 storm. But Natchez city planner David Preziosi believed so strongly that it was worth saving that he and his parents purchased the building with the intention of restoring it to its original appearance. Guided by photographs from the collection of the Historic Natchez Foundation, the Preziosi family restored such Colonial Revival details as the first-story entablature and the second-story cornice and frieze. The Preziosis even convinced the connecting building’s owner to restore the neighboring storefront and original frieze. Completed in January 2001, the project resulted in the restoration of the interior and exterior of the building at 411 Franklin Street to their original 1904 appearance. Today the building houses a residential unit upstairs and retail space on the ground floor.



514 2nd Avenue North, Columbus, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Millard E. Green

This two-story, five-bay brick row building was constructed circa 1850. Located in the Central Commercial Historic District of Columbus, this antebellum building had been marred by insensitive changes in the doors and windows. The new owner, Millard Green, restored the façade to its original appearance by replacing the 1970s windows with replicas of the original 6/6 wooden sash and water washing the bricks. Interior suspended ceilings and modern stairs were removed, and the central stairs were reopened. Its antebellum appearance restored, the law office at 514 2nd Avenue North plays a supporting role in the strong preservation movement of downtown Columbus.



Carrollton Community House, Carrollton, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation - Institutional
Owner: Carroll County Board of Supervisors and City of Carrollton
Architect: Robert Parker Adams, Jackson
Contractor: Henderson Campbell

Constructed during the Depression by Works Progress Administration workers, this log structure first housed the Carrollton library, which opened in 1936. Over time, the logs had deteriorated, and the thirty-foot chimney had begun to lean away from the structure due to the washout of sandy soil. The City of Carrollton was in jeopardy of losing its historic landmark. Emergency maintenance work was performed by Henderson Campbell, the Carroll Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, and the Carrollton Community House Committee to save the simple porch and original tin roof until they could be restored. Architect Robert Parker Adams has preserved these characteristic elements while overseeing the restoration. Today, Carrollton Community House is as beautiful as ever but serves a new function as a large community meeting space.



Cunningham Bungalow, Woodville, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Residential
Owner: David A. Smith
Architect: W. Briar Jones, Starkville
Other: Time Morris and Binky Knighton (carpentry)

What was once a private residence has been transformed into Nana’s Guest House & Tea Room. In 2001, local businessman David Smith rehabilitated this 1919 building after acquiring it from the Cunningham family. When Smith purchased the building, it was in a state of disrepair, suffering from both leaks and termites. Poor maintenance and past modifications had detracted from the original architectural style. Architect Briar Jones directed a project to remove vinyl siding, replace rotten wood, repaint the exterior in period colors, and remove non-original windows and doors. Also integral to this project was the expansion of the National Register Historic District to include this building and six others along U.S. Highway 61. Smith now uses his historic bungalow as a bed and breakfast, small meeting facility, and real estate office.



Ellzey Building, Biloxi, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Thomas J. Sliman
Architect: David Hardy of Guild Hardy Associates, Biloxi
Contractor: Roy Anderson Corporation

The Ellzey Building was constructed in 1896 to house the Peoples Bank, which is the oldest existing bank on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After the bank moved across the street, this Richardsonian Romanesque style building was leased to various businesses and underwent remodeling. In the 1970s, a pedestrian mall was developed, and metal awnings were constructed over the sidewalk; the mall ironically caused a decline in commercial activity in downtown Biloxi.
When this rehabilitation was initiated, the Ellzey Building retained a number of its original features, including a round corner tower with conical tile roof, but the storefront had been extensively altered and many of the second-floor windows had been replaced. The exterior underwent an exemplary restoration based on historic photographs and physical evidence: non-historic windows were replaced, and the arched entryway was restored using the original limestone voussoirs and granite columns that the bank had retained for over thirty years. On the first floor the original pressed metal ceiling was exposed and cleaned, and the original floor tiles were restored (where tiles were missing, an artist was hired to paint the tile pattern directly onto the concrete floor). The restoration of this building has returned an important local landmark to its original grandeur.



Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation - Institutional
Owner: Gil Carmichael, Meridian

Built in 1930, the old terminal, hangar, and powerhouse at Key Field are rare examples of early airfield architecture. This landmark airfield is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the world’s (still-current) flight endurance record set by aviation pioneers Algene and Frederick Key. When the record was made, these brothers were co-managers of the Meridian airport and lived on the second floor of the terminal. Dedicated to flying, the brothers established the Key Brothers’ Flying School at Bonita Field, several miles outside of Meridian. With the Depression, business for the airport suffered, but the brothers developed a scheme to bring worldwide attention to their airport by breaking the 23-day endurance record. The airport buildings have been rehabilitated for use as a Cessna flight training school and repair shop.



Natchez Community Center, Natchez, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Institutional
Owner: City of Natchez
Project Coordinator: David Preziosi, city planner, City of Natchez
Contractor: Jan Scarbrough

The building at 211 Franklin Street, which served as a car dealership and service center during the 1940s, has maintained many of its original features. But the distinctive Art Moderne/Art Deco commercial building had been vacant for some time and had fallen into disrepair when it was acquired by the City of Natchez with the purchase of land needed for the convention center site. Prompted by a suggestion from an alderman, the city undertook a project to create a community center in the historic building. Alterations were made under the direction of David Preziosi to adapt the car dealership to house a kitchen, a pre-function space, and a showroom area. The center has been rented 85% of the weekends since it opened in December 2000. Proving that old buildings can serve a new use without compromising historical integrity, the Natchez Community Center has become a landmark of the recent past for this antebellum community.



Rayner Building, Lexington, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Barrett Law Offices, PA
Architect: Belinda J. Stewart, Eupora
Contractor: Len Ware, Central Building and Maintenance, Lexington
Other: Sara Nelson, Interior Furnishing

Constructed in 1915, Lexington’s three-story Rayner Building was purchased by the Barrett Law Offices because of its location next to the firm’s original office. The firm planned to expand into the building as needed. Beginning in 1995, architect Belinda J. Stewart began the phased rehabilitation of what was once the Rayner Hardware and Furniture Store. Exterior rehabilitation included installation of a decorative cornice, removal of non-original paint, and repair of the awning. The original cypress floors and the staircase were fully restored. The building’s open-space feel was preserved with wall partitions that do not extend to the ceiling. This building embodies the successful rehabilitation of a commercial storefront.



S.N. Thomas Building, Jackson, Mississippi:
Award Level: Merit
Award Category: Preservation Award: Rehabilitation-Commercial
Owner: Canizaro Cawthon Davis
Architect: Canizaro Cawthon Davis
Contractor: Midstate Construction
Other: Oxford Lighting (lighting design), Watkins O’Gwynn
(electrical design), Spencer Engineering (structural design), and Eldridge and Associates (mechanical design)

Hoping to create a pleasant work environment while showcasing the character of a historic building, owners Bob and Beth Canizaro, Danny Cawthon, and Steve Davis set out to restore the S. N. Thomas buildings, which they had purchased from the Thomas family in 2000. The original building was built in 1907, and S. N. Thomas moved in ten years later to house his business on the first floor. As his business grew, Thomas purchased adjacent buildings. The new owners, who are also the architects, worked closely with Midstate Construction to stabilize and restore the structure, retaining its original character while bringing it up to date. The exterior rehabilitation of the canopy and storefront were based on a 1925 photograph. Many historic details survived, such as the second-floor windows and cornice as well as exterior doors. Although the interior is modern in style, the architects chose to leave certain historic features to inspire visual interest and a feeling for the historic character. These buildings feature a unique blend of historic traits with modern design elements.

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Mississippi Heritage Trust
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Jackson, MS 39205
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FAX 601-354-0220

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