City buys old depot for $215,000

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2001

[10/24/01]Vicksburg now owns the Levee Street Depot, and officials applied Tuesday for state money to fix up the outside of the structure and to have it designated a Mississippi Landmark.

The Mayor and Aldermen voted to pay $215,000 for the 95-year-old building to three physicians, Drs. Karl Hatten, Sam White and John Bower, who owned it as partners.

Possible uses include a river-rail museum or a visitor center.

“That’s below the asking price,” Mayor Laurence Leyens said in announcing the deal reached in negotiations. The three-story brick building is appraised at $304,290 for property taxes.

After approving the purchase, Leyens and Aldermen Sid Beauman and Gertrude Young approved an application prepared by City Planner Ronnie Bounds to seek Landmark status. The exclusive listing is usually reserved for such historic sites as the Old Court House Museum.

The depot building served the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad and the Illinois Central Railroad.

Bounds said the deadline for nominations was Tuesday afternoon in preparation for a meeting of the permit committee of the state Department of Archives and History today. If the committee approves the nomination, the depot would be eligible for funding under the Mississippi Heritage Grant Program.

The next resolution the board approved was the application for $175,000 from the $6 million set aside by the Mississippi Legislature for the grant program.

Bounds said the state money would be matched by the expenditure of $65,100 in city funds. He said the grant rules specify the match must be at least 20 percent and the city’s match will be 37 percent.

The grant money will be used to clean the outside of the building, clean the brickwork and do other work to seal the exterior. No interior work is planned.