Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lost Houses: Lower Main Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Dear Readers, happy and prosperous 2015 to you all.

Main Street is one of Vicksburg's historic streets, and the waterfront and hill near the Yazoo Canal (formerly the main stem of the Mississippi River) is one of the earliest areas to be settled in the 1800s. Sadly, we have lost many of the old houses from this district over the years.
I recall that in the 1980s and early 1990s, the square building at the corner of Main and Washington Streets was a local corner grocery store. Unfortunately, I never photographed the interior.
But the good news is that Rusty's Riverfront Grill now occupies the site (901 Washington Street). This is a success story - an old building with a new life. It has been renovated and expanded.
The next building uphill is a garage at 714 Main Street.
716 Main was an old-fashioned house that had been empty for some time and, as of mid-2014, was being deconstructed. In the second picture, you can see right through the left wall.
June 2015 update: this building has been demolished.
718 Main is in good condition and was occupied in late 2014.

No. 722 is a duplex with plaster or concrete siding made to look like limestone. The brick building in the left distance is the Jackson Street Community Center. That was the former site of a YMCA (click the link).
On the next block east (uphill), the shotgun shacks at nos. 802 and 804 were demolished years ago. This photograph (a Kodachrome slide) is from 2000.
Across the street, at 807 Main, there was once a big 2-story building. I did not pay much attention until I saw the demolition crew at work in February of 1998. These photographs were also Kodachrome slides taken with a Leica camera and 35mm Summicron lens.
At 808, the building had the concrete (or plaster?) siding shaped to look like limestone blocks.

So it goes; slowly but surely, more structures are being removed than built. Vicksburg has more grassy lots than even 20 years ago. Is this the fate of small towns in America?

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