Beck House hearing postponed

Published 12:00pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Vicksburg Board of Architectural Review postponed a hearing on a plan to replace the windows of the Beck House after a representative for owner Robert Rosenthall did not appear at the meeting.

Planning coordinator Paula Wright said Rosenthall had earlier said he could not attend the meeting and would send an unnamed representative to the Tuesday meeting. The representative however, was not at the meeting, which was to discuss Rosenthall’s plans to replace the windows in the 139-year old building as part of its renovation. A new hearing date has not been set.

Under the city’s historic district ordinance, people restoring a historic building must use the same materials used in the building’s construction or alternative material approved by the review board.

R.F. Beck, a former mayor of Vicksburg and a contractor, built the Beck House at 1101 South St. in 1875. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is at the corner of Adams and South Streets in the city’s historic district.

It has been the subject of a 12-year battle between the city and Rosenthalll to repair the house, which was in disrepair.

In 2012, Community Development Director Victor Gray-Lewis condemned the Beck House because of its condition and Rosenthalll got a building permit to begin repairs. The permit was later pulled because no repairs were being performed.

The permit was reinstated in December 2012, and Rosenthalll began making repairs in late December. Work stopped in March 2013 after the Board of Architectural Review denied his application to install a metal roof on the house and put stucco over deteriorating sections of the building’s brick walls.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen in December moved the building’s code violations under the jurisdiction of the city’s Community Court. Since then, Rosenthalll has been renovating the house under the guidelines of the city’s historic district ordinance.

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