MHT Awards Recognize Preservationists, Properties
The Mississippi Heritage Trust has announced the recipients of the 2020 Heritage Awards with JXN sites and individuals included among them.
Presented by BankPlus, the Heritage Awards “honored the hard 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.”
JXN-based honorees include:
Heritage Awards of Merit for Restoration
Lamar Life Building
The c. 1925 Lamar Life Building, with its illuminated 35-foot clock tower, whimsical gargoyles and intricate detailing, was Jackson’s first skyscraper. Working in partnership with Hope Credit Union, developer Andrew Mattiace saw the potential to utilize incentives including New Markets and Historic Tax Credits to renovate the Gothic Revival structure, creating a mixed use development by converting some of the original offices into retail space and 23 apartments. Architectural firms Canizaro Cawthon Davis and Dean & Dean oversaw the penthouse to basement restoration which included a complete overhaul of the building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.
Working with interior designer Al Lawson and contractor McIntosh Construction, architect Buddy Faulkner has transformed this c. 1904 building into a luxurious urban oasis. Now featuring three floors of event space and two floors of offices along with a new rooftop terrace, the restoration included all new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems along with an energy-generating elevator. The original staircase was retained, along with heart pine floors.
Heritage Awards for Distinguished Service
Robert Parker Adams
One of Mississippi’s most distinguished preservation architects and strongest advocates for historic preservation, Robert Parker Adams was a founding member of the Mississippi Heritage Trust. During his career, Bob has served as principal architect on the restoration of more of Mississippi’s National Historic Landmark buildings than any other architect, with projects including the Old Capitol, the New Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, Eudora Welty House, Coker House, and Alcorn State University’s Oakland Chapel. Bob was also one of the first advocates to recognize the significance of Mississippi’s modernist architecture, restoring Fountainhead, the only documented Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in the state along with his late wife Mary and later rehabilitating Jackson’s Art Moderne Greyhound Bus Terminal for his office, thereby saving the building from demolition.
Known for his unending perseverance to completing whatever tasks lay before him, Kane Ditto has unselfishly given his vision, passion, tireless energy, and resources to historic preservation in Mississippi. Among his many accomplishments, Kane led the restoration of the Clifton-Burwell House, the oldest private home in Jackson. Kane was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for 15 years, serving as president from 2008 until his retirement this year, during which time he spearheaded fundraising efforts to construct the Two Mississippi Museums. Kane has also volunteered his knowledge and experience to the Foundation of Mississippi History, Downtown Jackson Partners, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Jennifer Welch is a leading light in the revitalization of the Belhaven Heights neighborhood of Jackson. Serving on the Executive Committee of the Greater Belhaven Foundation, the Belhaven Heights Community Association and the City of Jackson Planning Committee, Jennifer has tackled numerous restoration projects in her neighborhood, including the Beanery, which had fallen into a complete state of disrepair. As part of Mississippi’s Bicentennial celebration, Jennifer worked with numerous community partners including MHT to bring Jackson artist Douglas Panzone home to create a mural highlighting the importance of historic preservation and conservation on the side of her office building.
Friends to Preservation
Garden Club of Jackson
With a focus on conservation and historic preservation, the Garden Club of Jackson is a champion of civic engagement. The club has made a difference in Jackson, raising more than $200,000 for historic garden preservation, interpretation and restoration. Mynelle Gardens, the Eudora Welty House and Garden, the Oaks, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion and MHT’s own Lowry House have all benefited from the financial support and hands-on involvement of the Garden Club of Jackson.
Downtown Jackson Partners
Overnight success? Hardly. Started as a Business Improvement District in the early 1990s, Downtown Jackson Partners has worked for years to transform the commercial heart of our capital city from an eight to five office park into a vibrant neighborhood. With over $800 million in economic development, today’s downtown Jackson is filled with restaurants, hotels, civic spaces and plenty of fun events such as festivals, outdoor concerts and parades. Utilizing incentives including historic tax credits, numerous buildings are being converted to include hundreds of new apartments, with downtown residents fueling additional development.
See the full list of award honorees at mississippiheritage.com/heritage-awards.