Triangle filling station awarded grant
Published 11:56 pm Monday, May 9, 2016
NATCHEZ — The Friends of the Riverfront of Natchez campaign has been awarded a $8,500 grant to renovate the triangle filling station.
The MDAH grant provides half of the $17,000 needed to stabilize and preserve the structure of the historic building.
The former filling station on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Catherine streets has sustained water damage to its roof and unique parapet details over the years, and previous attempts to stabilize the structure made matters worse.
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FOR Natchez hopes to turn the building into a black history museum to serve as a trailhead for the St. Catherine Street trails as well as one of the foundation pieces for the organization’s plan to revitalize downtown Natchez.
FOR Natchez President Chesney Doyle said the effort to save the structure is a collaboration between her organization which is spearheading the project, the National Park Service, Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church which owns the triangle service station, the Community Alliance and Historic Natchez Foundation.
She said the building signifies “a cultural stake in the ground for the historical importance of this neighborhood.”
The building would become an open-air pavilion and museum-quality exhibition on the building itself, Reconstruction-era history and civil rights history of the neighborhood, Doyle said.
The former filling station is now occupied by a barbershop, which Doyle said would be welcome to stay.
Doyle said the FOR Natchez campaign plans to establish two anchor areas in downtown Natchez in order to structure its economic development plan: the bluff and the historic black business district where the filling station is located.
The other half of the funds for the renovation, Doyle said, will come from donations from those in the community.
“We haven’t made any effort at all, but I think we have $1,500,” Doyle said.
Donations can be made to FOR Natchez at for-natchez.org/donate.