A damaged building will come down near Crawford Street UMC

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

On April 6, 2018, a line of severe thunderstorms bringing torrential rains dropped 2 inches of rain on Warren County and caused the wall of a building owned by Crawford Street United Methodist Church to collapse.

Now, heavy equipment fills the church’s parking lot at the corner of South and Monroe streets as construction workers prepare to take the building down.

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“We’ve done the asbestos abatement inside,” said Johnny Sanders, the church’s buildings and grounds committee chairman.

“We’re thinking that Monday we may be in the process of physically taking the walls down. The day we begin removing the partially collapse walls, we will close the church for that day,” he said.

The building, which housed the church’s Storehouse Food Pantry since 2012, has a history of its own.

Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, said the building to be demolished was part of the Vicksburg Sanitarium started by Dr. D.P. Street. It was built about 1940 for the hospital laundry, grocery warehouse, machine shop, and hospital rooms on the upper floors.

Street, she said, started the hospital when he purchased the McCutchen Home on the corner of Crawford and Monroe streets.

After Street moved to the then-new Mercy Hospital on McAuley Drive, the hospital buildings eventually became the Sydney Convalescent Home, which closed in the early 1990s and then burned in 1995.

Sanders said the building was one of three purchased by the church over the years.

“It’s part of our buildings. It’s two separate buildings, but they have a common building that connects the two. You look at it, and you think it’s one building, but it’s three different pieces that have been built at three separate times through the years.

“The wall that has collapsed is within 15 feet of one of the new buildings we have, and it’s going to be quite hazardous taking it down,” Sanders said. “We have (air) bags that we will place between the undamaged buildings and the building that we’re going to tear down.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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