Developers propose changes to casinoPublished 12:03am Wednesday, December 21, 2011
NATCHEZ — In light of concerns raised at the Natchez Preservation Commission’s meeting last week, Magnolia Bluffs Casino developers are making significant changes to the casino’s exterior design.
The Roth Hill Road casino’s architect Edward A. Vance and general contractor Ricky Edgin met Thursday with Historic Natchez Foundation Executive Director Mimi Miller for an all-day meeting to address the concerns voiced at the commission’s meeting.
Miller said several of the casino design issues were resolved, and she feels the overall exterior appearance is more like a historic carriage house or sawmill, rather than a metal warehouse.
Miller said she and Vance took inspiration for the design changes from photographs of carriage houses, as well as architectural features of local buildings.
The proposed changes include:
4Covering the entire building with wood siding finished with a gray, weathered look.
4A gray roof, instead of midnight bronze, and a narrower roof seam.
4The removal of the pointed overhang on each end of the roof ridges.
4Windows added to the front of the building.
4Wood louvers on the wall and roof vents, instead of metal.
4Five openings covered with carriage house-style green doors on the recessed opening on the south end of the building.
4Green paint on the main entrance doors similar to the doors on the Natchez Convention Center.
4Carriage house-style doors on the entrance to mechanical rooms on the front of the building.
4Carriage house-style roll-up loading dock doors instead of metal doors.
4Green exterior windows, louvers and doors.
4Barn-style lighting fixtures in the car drop-off area, instead of chandeliers, and on the exterior of the building
4The removal of one lane of the car drop-off, as well as a narrowed and raised roof.
Miller said she believes the changes will better reflect Natchez, and she said she feels better about the casino’s design.
Vance said in an e-mail he and Miller both share a mutually strong belief that a building should be designed contextually to reflect its region.
Vance said he appreciated the time Miller had given to the building’s redesign.
“We look forward to continuing the working relationship with her office as we continue the design process,” he said.
Miller said she is still concerned the location of the loading dock is at the most public corner of the building. She said the loading dock also disrupts the symmetry of the roofline.
Miller said she also believes adding dormers to the roofing along the front and back of the building would break up the continuity of the large mass of roofing.
Premier Gaming Group President Kevin Preston said it is important his company does what it can to match the historical integrity of Natchez.
“We understand the history, and we want to make sure we are doing as much as we can to preserve the look and feel of the community,” he said.
Preston said he currently does not know how much cost the changes will add to the project.
A revised casino design plan will be presented to the preservation commission at its next meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Jan. 11.