° empty

National Register status sought for Margaret Martin

NATCHEZ — Students once studied history there, and now the City of Natchez is moving to ensure Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center is enshrined in the annals of history.

Community Development Director James Johnston got permission from the Natchez Board of Aldermen this week for the Historic Natchez Foundation to nominate the Margaret Martin facility for National Register of Historic Places landmark status.

“We have so many historic properties here on the National Register, and that building has some tremendous historical significance,” Johnston said.

National Register status would qualify the building for federal grants for historic preservation, among other things.

Built in 1927 as Natchez High School, the Gothic Revival style building was designed by architect P.J. Krouse and is already designated as a Mississippi Landmark.

“This building probably represents one of the few times Natchez opted to do something for its black citizens first,” HNF Executive Director Mimi Miller said. “It and Brumfield (school) were in discussion, and the crowding at the (black) Union school was recognized and so Brumfield was built on St. Catherine Street first.”

When the school was built, the historic house Belvedere was moved from the property to its current adjoining location on Homochitto Street.

Classes started at the school in the fall of 1928, with the first class graduating in 1929. The final high school class graduated in 1963, and was converted to Margaret Martin Junior High School, named after a long-time teacher and principal. The Natchez-Adams School District closed MMJH in 1989.

The building currently houses the Natchez Festival of Music, Natchez Ballet Academy, the Natchez Gymnastic Association and was featured in a pivotal scene in Tate Taylor’s “Get on Up” after movie crews transformed the auditorium to resemble the famous Apollo Theatre.

The national register has three levels of significance, federal, state and local, Miller said.

“There is no doubt it will be approved because the integrity of the building is good and it has local significance,” she said.

Miller said getting the nod for state significance might hinge on how many buildings Rouse designed or how many gothic architecture high schools are in the state.

News

CPSO rules missing person case homicide

News

Adams County supervisors to review ambulance proposals Wednesday

News

Burnley Cook to withdraw from Ward 6 alderman race

News

Viewfinder: Cathedral student starts local health fair

News

Man arrested for Magnolia Grill burglary

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal