Group learns about historic preservation

Published 8:03 pm Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday morning, a group of Vicksburg residents interested in historic preservation took a field trip down Washington Street.

The tour was part of a three-day Preservation Tool Kit Workshop program presented by the Heritage Guild of Vicksburg & Warren County to teach people interested in historic preservation about the fundamental principles of historic preservation and real estate finance.

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Friday’s field trip was an opportunity for people to get a close look at historic downtown buildings undergoing restoration by visiting buildings in an area from the 1100 to the 1400 block of Washington.

“We’re touring buildings on Washington Street that are in different stages of renovation,” said Heritage Guild member Dinah Lazor. “We will see a cross spectrum of buildings in the process of rehabbing. We’re also learning what the city requirements are and Main Street’s are for meeting the city’s guidelines for restoration.

“We’re seeing where some people have applied tax credits; we’re going to see some end results as well.”

Sponsored by the Mississippi Heritage Trust, a nonprofit statewide organization that supports historic preservation, the three-day program was presented at no charge to the participants.

Lazor said the workshop has been presented in several cities in the state, “And Vicksburg was just fortunate enough to be on the list.”

The purpose of the programs, she said, “Was to teach how to understand tax credits, both state and federal, for historic properties. It also looked at the national standards for historic preservation, and we saw examples from around the state of different projects dealing with preservation. The program was open to anyone who had an interest in learning about historic preservation.”

Presented by Mike Grote and Jonathan Leit with Alembic Development of New Orleans, the series began Wednesday with a program on the legal framework for historic preservation and the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for (building) rehabilitation.

The program was followed by a Thursday evening program attended by 30 people on fundamentals of real estate finance incentives to close the gap, which covered historic tax credit projects.

The Friday tour, Lazor said, provided an opportunity for people involved in historic renovation to talk with each other and to the historic preservation experts about projects.

The Heritage Guild of Vicksburg & Warren County is a volunteer organization interested in preserving historic buildings in Vicksburg and Warren County.

“We’re trying to make our community a better place,” Lazor said.

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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