Preservation Commission gives OK for new barn, staff buildings at city cemetery

Published 11:33 am Thursday, February 9, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Natchez Preservation Commission gave its approval to plans to build a new staff building and barn at the Natchez City Cemetery.

In August 2022, the Natchez Cemetery Association received a donation of $400,000 to construct a new barn from Natchez native Grace Augusta Manning, who died in August 2020.

Manning left the donation specifically for the construction of a new barn at the cemetery.

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The cemetery’s current barn, which is approximately 100 years old, provides the only space to shelter cemetery workers and equipment needed for the upkeep of the cemetery. That barn will be preserved at the cemetery.

While the cemetery is property of the City of Natchez, it is wholly managed and operated by the Natchez Cemetery Association, which consists of 24 board members.

Because the cemetery has a historic landmark designation, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History must also give its approval before the new barn and staff facilities can be built.

Architect Johnny Waycaster presented conceptual plans to the preservation commission members at its monthly meeting Wednesday evening at the Council Chambers.

The two facilities — one just under a thousand square feet to provide shelter and restroom facilities for workers, and the other 1,156 square foot barn for the storage of equipment — would be located 20 feet apart and joined by a covered walkway. The design of the two buildings would match, and would be painted barn green.

Carter Burns, director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, pointed out that shutters were not the norm on such facilities historically. Shutters were planned for some windows on the conceptual drawings of the buildings. Waycaster agreed to remove those.

The commission approved the plans for the building pending MDAH approval.