Downtown building owner gets OK for renovations

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

David Mitchell, who owns the vacant building at 1205 Washington St., was unanimously given a certificate of appropriateness by the Vicksburg Board of Architectural Review to make improvements to the building as he readies it for retail and residential uses.

Approved by the board were requests by Mitchell to rehab existing stucco veneer, woodwork and paint on the second story of the building; rehab the existing drainage system on the building; repair existing second story windows or replace them with wood or vinyl clay windows; allow for original iron pilasters and I-beams on the lower floor to be left exposed and incorporated into the design of the new storefront; construct the storefront of wood and glass with entries to the second and main floor recessed 3 to 5 feet on either side of the building; and install a canvas awning over the first floor storefront.

Some demolition has already taken place on the building since he purchased it about two years ago, said Mitchell, and plans are for the approximately 1,500-square-feet of space on the first floor to be rented out for retail use while residential space will be located on the second floor. The building was formerly owned and used by the Vicksburg Jaycees for meetings, said Mitchell, but added he could not find any information on when the building was last used for a retail purpose. Historians disagree on the age of the building, but Mitchell said most estimates date it to around 1850.

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Mitchell said he is applying for tax credits through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to aid with funding of the rehabilitation.

Board members present Tuesday were Thurman Nelson, Dorwin Shields, Blake Teller, Toni Lanford-Ferguson and Charlie Gholson. Nelda Sampey was present for her final meeting, as she has announced her retirement from the board, and three others in the city, at the end of the year. Betty Bullard sat in on her first meeting as a new member, and Tom Pharr attended but recused himself from the meeting as he had rendered some drawings for Mitchell’s requests.


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