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Preservationists close in on goal

July 23, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Historic Preservation Commission will review a new draft of all the preservation guidelines it has reviewed over the past several months at its meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall’s building department.

For the past few months, the HPC has been working with Mississippi Heritage Trust Executive Director David Preziosi on design guidelines for historic buildings. Once these guidelines are complete, the commission can establish local historic districts similar to three Starkville districts already on the National Register of Historic Places.

Preziosi said this new draft incorporates the changes the commission has recommended at all of its past reviews of the guidelines’ sections. With this draft, he said the commission could be only a few meetings away from bringing the guidelines before the Starkville Board of Aldermen for final approval, and he expects the commission to call for further changes at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’ll address all those changes and revisions, we’ll do the table of contents ... we’ll send back a final draft and then they will look at it one more time,” Preziosi said. “We’ll be ready to go to print if there are no more adjustments after that.”

Briar Jones said he, too, anticipates more changes at Tuesday’s meeting. Until the meeting happens, he said, how extensive those changes will be and how many more meetings remain before the commission decides on a final draft remains uncertain.

“I wouldn’t think (Tuesday’s changes) would be incredibly extensive,” Jones said. “It’s a fairly long document. I think we’ll know a lot better after tomorrow night’s meeting, after everyone has had an opportunity to comment on the draft we have received.”

The commission will also discuss an official name for the guidelines and a report from Preziosi on his resurvey of the Overstreet School National Historic District. Preziosi said the last Overstreet survey was conducted in the 1990s, and the commission needs more current information on the buildings in order to review changes to those buildings properly.

“For new buildings or buildings that were substantially changed, we took new photos,” Preziosi said. “Also, we went through and did all digital photos of everything. Nash Street and Greensboro were resurveyed as well, (but) I didn’t do those.”

Preziosi said these resurveyings have been in the works for the past year. The HPC applied for a Certified Local Government grant to pay half the expense for the resurveyings back in spring 2011, receiving the grants in summer 2011, he said.

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