Two new historic districts considered for Tupelo

July 24, 2009
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Tupelo, MS
by Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Two downtown neighborhoods could join Mill Village in becoming Local Historic Districts if one city group gets its way.

Members of the Tupelo Historic Preservation Commission recently cited North Broadway Street and Highland Circle as their picks for local designation.

Both neighborhoods already sit on the National Register of Historic Places, which means winning support for local designation could come easily, said Michelle Jones, community assistance coordinator with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

“You need some positive publicity and to do something positive for the community; these two things will do that,” said Jones, who attended the commission’s monthly meeting at City Hall.

Highland Circle is a 570-acre residential neighborhood just north of Jackson Street and just east of Gloster Street. It has 100 properties, most of which were built in the first half of the 20th century. The area was put on the historic register three years ago.

The North Broadway district is located just north of the Lee County Justice Center. The street has some of Tupelo’s oldest properties, built in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Most have been renovated thanks to the efforts of attorney Gary Carnathan, who began the rehab work in 1984 and today runs his law practice from one of the houses.

The street was placed on the historic register in 1985.

Carnathan said he will support the Historic Preservation Commission if it pursues local designation.

“I think the history of Tupelo needs to be preserved in every way possible,” he said.

Support from residents and businesses in the proposed districts will be key for gaining historic designation, Jones told commission members.

The commission’s previous attempt at winning historic status for a neighborhood – Joyner – failed in part because of opposition by some landowners in the area.

Designating an area a Local Historic District is a way to preserve the character of its properties. Doing so gives the Tupelo Historical Preservation Commission authority to approve or deny all construction, demolition and major remodeling projects within the district.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

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Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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