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Heritage Trust places state’s historic tax credits on 10 Most Endangered List

10 Most 2015 100 Places logo_rgbBy TED CARTER

The newest Top Ten list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi brings the total of properties put on the list to an even 100.

As a symbol of what the Mississippi Heritage Trust believes to be the jeopardy facing historically significant places in the state, the Trust selected the state’s depleted historic tax credits as Number 10 on the 2015 Endangered List.

“We’re trying to make a really big statement,” said Lolly Barnes, Heritage Trust executive director.

“There’s no question they are endangered,” she said of the $60 million in tax credits Mississippi began awarding in 2006 but has since expended.

A bill to renew the credits died in the Senate last year. Preservationists want a different outcome in the 2016 session.

“This is not symbolic. They are endangered,” Barnes said in explaining placement of the tax credits on the Endangered List.

“The big part of our story is what government incentives can do to help historic preservation,” she added.

Barnes stressed that tax credits made it possible for restoration of former Endangered List properties such as the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, the Tippah County Jail in Ripley, the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs, the L.Q.C. Lamar House in Oxford and the Old Pascagoula High School. The credits have also been used for residential restorations by 122 homeowners.

“We have just got to do a better job of letting legislators know what good work our developers do,” Barnes said.

The Mississippi Heritage Trust initially put out a list annually but in 2002 switched the list to biennial. The preservation organization announced the 2015 list Thursday.

From 20 nominations made by various organizations and individuals across Mississippi, a jury made up of preservations selected properties for the list. Many of the properties are dilapidated and are exposed to weather.

Here is the list:

» French Hotel, circa 1858; Senatobia (Tate County)

» Grenada Airfield Hangar, circa 1943 (Grenada County)

» Hugh Craft & Son Surveying Office, circa early 1840s; Holly Springs (Marshall County)

» Jourdan River School, circa 1928; Kiln (Hancock County)

» Margaret’s Grocery, Vicksburg (Warren)

» Melmont, circa 1855; Natchez (Adams)

» Old Wilkinson County Jail, circa 1929; Woodville (Wilkinson County)

» Phoenix Naval Stores Office, Turkey Creek Neighborhood, Gulfport (Harrison County)

» Webb Depot circa 1909 (Tallahatchie County)

» Mississippi’s State Historic Tax Credit, circa 2006 (Statewide)

An exhibition of the Endangered List selections will be on display at Jackson’s Lowry House, 1031 N. Congress St. through December. The circa 1870s home once owned by Mississippi Gov. William Lowry is a former Endangered List selection now undergoing restoration.

To schedule a group tour of the exhibit, call the Mississippi Heritage Trust at 601-354-0200.


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About Ted Carter


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