Mississippi Heritage Trust recognizes Vicksburg residents, MCity, Vicksburg National Military Park

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

On Thursday, June 6, the Mississippi Heritage Trust announced the recipients of the 2024 Heritage Awards at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center in Vicksburg.  A group of over 150 people gathered in the auditorium to celebrate 25 achievements in historic preservation. From the breathtaking transformation of the old Gulfport Library into Coast Transit Authority’s Gulfport Transit Center to hands-on history commemorating Pascagoula’s designation as a World War II Heritage City, this year’s awards honored the work and commitment of many individuals, civic organizations, educational institutions and local, county and state governments to preserve the places that tell the story of Mississippi.

MCITy of Vicksburg was recognized for its extensive rehabilitation of a 1936 building into a technology think tank inspiring future high-tech entrepreneurs .

MCITy, Vicksburg

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Constructed in 1936, the Mississippi Hardware Company Building has undergone a $19 million dollar rehabilitation to meet the needs of the 21st century.  The project team, including VanMeter, Williams, Pollack Architects, Shane Ormond Construction, Newbreak Management, Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership, ERDCWERX, Hinds Community College, Mississippi State University, Institutes for Higher Learning, Alcorn State University, City of Vicksburg, Broadway Ventures and 2R3E Properties, conceived the Mississippi Center for Innovation and Technology, now known as MCITy, to become home to a cadre of high-tech entrepreneurs and educators working together to maximize synergism of thought and action.

Vicksburg National Military Park

The Vicksburg National Military Park was recognized for excellence in Archaeology. During the stabilization of the park roadways there was an extensive Archeological field case undertaken. After this was completed the restabilization of the park could begin in earnest.

The Vicksburg National Military Park celebrated its 125th anniversary by addressing urgent stabilization needs at the park as well as examining new, inclusive methods of interpretation. In 2020, heavy rains triggered extreme erosion, road loss and severe landslides that put hundreds of burial sites at risk. In partnership with the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and more than 40 additional agencies and consultants, Vicksburg National Military Park has put a $4.7 million plan for rehabilitation into action. The archaeology field study phase of the project has been completed, setting the stage for inventory and analysis that will shed light on untold stories of Native American and African American connections to the park and Vicksburg.

Joyce Clingan and Daryl Hollingsworth were also recognized for their promotion of the historic parts of Vicksburg and for their efforts to restore and repurpose buildings in the historic downtown area and beyond.

Joyce Clingan, Vicksburg

Since 1995, Clingan has been welcoming guests to her historic restaurant Walnut Hills, which serves as the epicenter for community revitalization efforts in Vicksburg. Instrumental in the founding of the Vicksburg Warren County Heritage Guild, Clingan has also served on the board of the Vicksburg Main Street Association.  She is that person who brings people together through humor backed with facts to help her beloved town shine.

Daryl Hollingsworth, Vicksburg

After purchasing his first building in downtown Vicksburg in 1999, Hollingsworth has gone on to restore and repurpose 25 buildings in the historic district, 17 of which are on Washington Street. These once-empty historic buildings now bustle with activity, including event venues and axe throwing.