New building wins preservation award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2000

Looking at the two story brick structure nestled on the corner of Main and Wall streets in downtown Natchez, it would not be hard to believe that the building had recently won an award from the Natchez Preservation Commission.

That the award was for Outstanding New Construction is a little harder to believe.

The building, located at 300 Main St., was built to house the certified public accounting firm of Switzer, Hopkins & Mange. The structure was finished in April, but its wood mold brick, gabled roof, wooden six-over-six window casings and 12-foot ceilings belie its age.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;From the beginning we went to great lengths to make sure that the building blended well with other downtown Natchez structures,&uot; said Susan Mange, one of the firm’s partners. &uot;I could not stress enough the help given to us by the people at the Historic Natchez Foundation. They were with us every step of the way. Most people don’t realize that they have access to this invaluable resource – and it’s free.&uot;

The simple rectangular shape is typical of the style used in the early 1800s, but after a tornado swept through Natchez in 1840, very few of these structures remained.

The firm had been located on the opposite corner of Main and Wall streets since 1967, but the construction of the new Natchez Convention Center forced the partners to search for a new location.

As luck would have it, the business across the street came up for sale. &uot;We would have been uncomfortable with any other location, because we’ve been on this corner forever,&uot; said Dennis Switzer, another partner in the firm.

Architect Johnny Waycaster of Natchez designed the new building. The idea came from a picture at the Natchez Historic Foundation.