Palace Club building on Martin Luther King Jr. Street collapses

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 8, 2016

NATCHEZ — The Palace Club on Martin Luther King Jr. Street collapsed recently after standing on the 200 block for at least 130 years.

Historic Natchez Foundation Executive Director Mimi Miller said records indicate the Palace was built between 1864 and 1886, and that it served a variety of uses from shoe store to beer garden in its most recent life.

“This is the second building on the 200 block of North MLK that has collapsed,” Miller said. “There was one on the corner of MLK and Franklin that collapsed. It’s just a matter of time for some of those across the street. It’s such a great loss.”

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Miller called the situation demolition by neglect, meaning the buildings are ignored until they fall to pieces.

“People are not intentionally doing it, but it’s what happened to the both of them,” Miller said. “I’m sorry we lost (The Palace).”

The building was occupied at least until 1979, to old city directories indicate, but may have had tenants until 1985.

Miller said the African-American community is the most likely to feel the loss of the Palace because that entire block held multiple businesses owned by African-Americans.

“There is a lot of sentiment with this building for the people who went in and out of it and conducted business in it,” she said.

Miller said she is uncertain who owns the building, but that having a tenant could have saved the building from falling into such extreme disrepair and ultimately collapsing.

The only building on the block with a tenant is Zion Chapel A.M.E. church, Miller said.