Owner of historic house given deadline for renovations

VICKSBURG — Beck House owner Robert Rosenthall has until Dec. 15 to complete renovations to the house and clean the property.

The Vicksburg Post reports that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen set the deadline and ordered Rosenthall to come back with a progress report on Nov. 25.

Rosenthall told city officials he would be able to complete repairs to the house to meet city codes and the historic district regulations.

“If I get between now and the second week of December, I can have everything achieved in the historical way the house was originally done,” he said.

The city and Rosenthall have been at odds for 11 years. The house was built in 1875 by R.F. Beck, a former mayor of Vicksburg and a contractor, and is on the National Register of Historic places.

Victor Gray-Lewis, the city’s building and inspection director, said a September condemnation order was based on violations of the city’s maintenance code after an exterior inspection of the house. City inspectors, he said, have not been allowed to inspect the building’s interior.

He said a balcony and porch on the east side of the house is collapsing. Other problem areas, Gray-Lewis said, include the front porch, loose brick in the exterior walls caused by cracking, unsound roof flashing, gutters falling off the rear of the carriage house, a section of the rear carport where wood is rotting and the roof is near collapse.

Rosenthall said he had been unable to complete repairs to the house because he had been out of the country doing humanitarian work in Africa. He said he was not going back to Africa until January, “so I have plenty of time to finish it.”

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