Renovation continues at bank building, site of Centreville museum

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

CENTREVILLE &045; Restoring an early 20th century bank building to house the Centreville Museum has presented many challenges.

Not the least of those challenges has been reproducing the huge, arched windows in the brick structure.

Natchez contractor David Holland was hired to help with that job. &uot;We are duplicating the original work that was there,&uot; he said. &uot;We did the demolition work and salvaged one of the old windows as a guide.&uot;

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Spanish cedar will be used to build the custom window frames, which will require precision tools. &uot;We have to have special knives made to cut these frames with.

What we build for that job cannot be used anywhere else,&uot; he said.

One example of Holland’s custom work can be found in the poplar mantles on the second floor of Magnolia Hall in Natchez. &uot;Those are identical to the marble mantles in the Natchez Library.

The knife we used to build those mantles cost $500, and we will never be able to use it again,&uot; Holland said.

Holland added that an architect is currently reviewing the specifications for the window frames at the museum.

&uot;We will start fabricating the window frames as soon as we receive the final shop drawings,&uot; he said.

Meanwhile, construction is well under way at the museum.

On Thursday, a crew from Meadville-based Owen Holland & Sons was installing metal studs inside the Main Street structure. Outside, workers removed the form from a concrete slab where a 1,056-square-foot addition to the original building will stand.

When completed, the museum will focus on the local history of Camp Van Dorn, a World War II army base where soldiers from the 63rd &uot;Checkerboard&uot; and the 99th &uot;Blood and Fire&uot; divisions trained for action in Europe.

The New Orleans architectural firm of Koch and Wilson is overseeing the $422,000 project. The project was funded through a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The museum is still seeking donations to finish raising

the matching funds required for the grant.

Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to the Centreville Museum at P.O. Box 1045, Centreville, MS