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Dragon

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
The county I work for purchased an old Masonic Temple, which was added to the list of Historical Buildings in the state. The building was built 1919, and now the county plans on renovating the building to be a new courthouse.

One of my many bosses decided that we should put the flag up on the unused flagpole. jestes and I went out and raised a new flag for the building. One of the most patriotic things I’ve had to do at work. Kind of gratifying too.
 
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otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Handsome building. A government building should have substance and character. Too many these days look like 1970s school buildings or light industrial complexes
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
[developer hat]

Looks like a great condo conversion you've ruined by acquiring the site.

[/developer hat] 8-!
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Ah, good OLE Mississippi :)

I hate to sound like the people I get tired of at the Commission meetings, but…

When I lived in Mississippi I often thought that one of its bigger problems of the recent half-century or so, funds, has been not only a curse but a huge blessing that can be an amazing asset. What do I mean, well there was no money for urban renewal and such, so many of the older buildings in many of the towns are still there. Towns and counties did not have the money to move out to new building on the by pass in the 70's and 80's like they did in other states. Ergo, the wonderful charming architecture is still there and occupied (well maybe not in Jackson or on the Coast).

Hopefully these older buildings (like the one you show) will more often be seen as a future asset like you all see it and no longer just as “old” like when I was there during most of the 90’s. I saw government buildings starting move from ‘town’ to ‘country’. Then people would slowly lose their need to go to ‘town’ to pay the bills or mail a letter. So they don’t frequent that ole rest. a much. Then the ‘country’ turns to ‘burb’ then the ‘town’ loses its charm and the people lose their quality of life.

I love Mississippi. It gets in your blood, you can’t help it. I am so happy to see that cool building your area is going to renovate. :) :)
 
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Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
What a great building. Makes me miss the real South. Are you taking down the flag each evening or is it lit at night?
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
Here are a few more pictures of the building. The County purchased the building for a steal. We are planning on spending about 1.5 million on renovations including a $250,000 grant from the MS Department of Archives and History. The building is really amazing. It is almost 16,000 square feet including three floors and a basement. The architectural detail, as you can see here is significant. Interestingly enough, it was designed by an architect named Robert E. Lee.











 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Wonderful reuse project. Congratulations and I'm jealous. My office is in a non-descript "Stockholm Syndrome" pile with no character whatsoever.

H said:
When I lived in Mississippi I often thought that one of its bigger problems of the recent half-century or so, funds, has been not only a curse but a huge blessing that can be an amazing asset. What do I mean, well there was no money for urban renewal and such, so many of the older buildings in many of the towns are still there. Towns and counties did not have the money to move out to new building on the by pass in the 70's and 80's like they did in other states. Ergo, the wonderful charming architecture is still there and occupied.
You could substitute "Indiana" (and many other states, I guess) for "Mississippi". Our little burg never had the funds nor the appetite for major urban renewal hence we have a great building stock (even if the locals can't see it). Someday we'll get around to finding new and profitable uses for them.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,908
Points
57
Again: Great reuse! I love early 20th century, small town institutional buildings.

It seems that practically all Mason's Hall throughout the US were well built and well designed.

It seems that these fraternals really appreciated great design.

This is in my neighborhood:

This is the National Headquarters for the Elks. It is also the Memorial to all the Elks that fought in the WWI.
 
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jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
We are very fortunate that we have an active and progressive downtown association. Our CBD has seen a major resurgence in recent years with the addition of several new restaurants and art galleries. Yesterday we had our monthly Association meeting, afterwards we provided a tour of the Masonic Temple to about 35 members. The building has quite a mistique locally because so few people have ever seen the interior.


Street view of mailboxes in front of the Federal Building


B&W of the corner of Front and Main downtown


In front of the Forrest County Tax Building


The "original" Forrest County Courthouse
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Great news, the interior looks so nice you almost want to commit a crime to go there.

Does anybody actually know what the heck the Masons are/were?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Seabishop said:
Does anybody actually know what the heck the Masons are/were?
The Masons run the world behind the scenes. A have a relative who is one. Think of the Stonecutters from the Simpsons. I was going to ask jestes and Dragon if they were Stonecutters;).
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
[conspiracy]yes, the masons are in cahoots with the illuminati.[/conspiracy]
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
The Masons run the world behind the scenes. A have a relative who is one. Think of the Stonecutters from the Simpsons. I was going to ask jestes and Dragon if they were Stonecutters
No, neither of us are Masons. I had an opportunity to go into the building before the Masons started cleaning out and out of everything there, the most interesting thing that I saw was the theater style seating around the perimeter of the main lodge room. (See Picture Above). On the back of each of these seats was a brass name tag that is literally a who's who of Hattiesburg and Forrest County history. All of the old money family names were represented as well as local people of influence including mayors, county supervisors, state legislators and others (including my Wife's grandfather). It was kind of an awesome feeling to stand there knowing that at one time all of these men were there together in one room. I can only image the decisions that were made there that we are still living with today in one form or the other.

Jestes, that looks like it would be cool place to work.
Yea Michaelskis, it is such an awesome building with lots of unusual features. I am very much looking forward to seeing it restored and filled with human activity. During this entire process I have become keenly aware of the notion that buildings such as this were made to be used and occupied by us. I think that there is nothing sadder than seeing a grand old building sitting idle. This is one of the best decisions that my bosses have made in recent years.

When it is finished, all of Cyburbia is welcome to journey to the deep South for a guided tour. We can finish off the tour with great beer and music at my favorite downtown bar, the Thirsty Hippo
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
A friend of mine at Ball State did a historic structures report on the Masonic building in Muncie. There was quite a bit of diplomacy that had to be done to get her into the building with full access. Some of the "old guard" were not 'tall pleased about it.
 
Messages
148
Points
6
jestes said:
By the way, if you want to read a really interesting book on this subject, check out "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
That was a very good book. Or, you could read the Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Those dangerous illuminati!

Love the building by the way. Have you found any secret passages?
 
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jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
Love the building by the way. Have you found any secret passages?
I have found a couple though it seems that I see something new each time I go into the building.
 
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