Friday, February 5, 2010
Historical Hinds County Armory, Jackson, Mississippi
The historic Hinds County Armory is located on the State Fairgrounds in Jackson. Most people never see the building and it stands unused and neglected. Mississippi Heritage Trust describes this unusual building (http://www.mississippiheritage.com/list09.html):
"Completed in 1927 for the Mississippi National Guard, the Hinds County Armory is believed to be the oldest surviving 20th century armory in the state. It may be the only building from that era intentionally built as an armory. The National Guard used the building as a training facility for nearly 50 years. The armory was one of the primary mobilization sites for Mississippi troops who served in World War II. Many returning soldiers mustered out in the armory. It is one of the state’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture and one of the few secular buildings employing the style."
"The building was damaged in Jackson’s 1979 Easter Flood and has not been used since. The roof leaks, and the building continues to suffer from water damage and a lack of maintenance. Located on the state fairgrounds, the Mississippi Fair Commission has no current plans for the structure."
It was a handsome building, but as you can see from these photographs, it is in poor condition. The roof is collapsing and much of the wood flooring and stage has rotted. I toured one rainy day, and the water was pouring through the roof onto the debris below. It is sad or rather, disgusting; many servicemen must have memories of passing through this facility many years ago. What an outrage that the State will not take care of its property. And what happened to the $100,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History back in 2002 to fix the roof? Who benefited from these funds?
Photographs taken on 12 December 2009 with an Olympus E-330 camera and 14-54 mm lens, tripod-mounted. I also took some Kodachrome slides with a Leica film camera.