Most-Endangered Places List Includes Jackson and Raymond Sites | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Most-Endangered Places List Includes Jackson and Raymond Sites


The Hinds County Armory, located on the state fairgrounds in Jackson, is one of this year's "10 Most-Endangered" sites.

The Mississippi Heritage Trust has unveiled its 2009 list of the 10 most-endangered places. This year's list includes the Hinds County Armory in Jackson and the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Raymond.

Completed in 1927 for the Mississippi National Guard, the Hinds County Armory may be the oldest surviving 20th century armory in the state, according to the Trust, which calls it one of the state's finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture and one of the few secular buildings in the style. It may also be the only building from that era intentionally built as an armory. Located on the state fairgrounds, the National Guard used the building as a training facility for nearly 50 years, however, Jackson's 1979 Easter Flood damaged the building and it has not been used since. The roof leaks, and the building suffers from water damage and lack of maintenance. The Mississippi Fair Commission has no plans for the structure and is unlikely to invest funds in the building. Public support is needed to encourage the Fair Commission to at least stabilize the structure until a new use can be developed, otherwise this unique historic structure could be lost forever.

Built in 1885, the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church on Dry Grove Road in Raymond continues to serve parishioners today. The modest frame church originally featured towers that pierced the roof on the main facade and flanked a gothic-inspired pointed arched window. When it was re-located from Main Street in 1939, the towers were capped at the roofline, the pointed arched window replaced by entrance doors and the side entrances sided over. The future of the church is uncertain; it is threatened by a declining congregation and the resultant drop in revenue needed to conduct much-needed maintenance on the wood-frame and clapboard-sided building. It is also threatened by possible development in the immediate area. A community-wide effort to preserve and maintain the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church would insure that this important historic resource is not lost to deterioration or development.

During last week's event, the trust gave preview tours of the King Edward Hotel, which is one of the trust's biggest success stories, according to a release. MHT brought lots of attention to the King Edward when it named it to the '10 Most' list in 1999. After years of restoration efforts, the building will reopen this year.

The '10 Most' list was established in 1999 as a way to raise awareness about the most threatened historic places in the state. Over the years, the organization has added more than 60 sites to its biannual '10 Most' lists. Of that number, 12 places have been saved and 35 are in the process of being saved. No progress is occurring on 10 sites. In the past 10 years, only three sites have been lost.

Other sites on this year's list include the Alcazar Hotel in Clarksdale, Arlington house in Natchez, Church Street in Port Gibson, the Front Street Historic District in Pascagoula, the Oakes African American Cultural Center in Yazoo City, Teoc Community in Carroll County, the Threefoot Building in Meridian and Wood College in Mathiston.

Previous Comments


WWhen I saw Ebenezer AME listed on the endangered list, I find myself praying that the members along with civic minded people can save the church. I have many memories of services I attended there in the 1970's/1980's and families I know that attend today. Don't stop telling the story and ringing the bell to let people know of the assault on truly historical places. Thanks for the memories and the history. Eddie Seaton Virginia Beach, VA


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