Friday, July 10, 2020

Demolition Pending: 2-Story 1920s (?) House, 900 National Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi

900 National Street from bridge crossing Stouts Bayou (Hasselblad 50mm Distagon lens, Kodak Tri-X film)
A 2-story asbestos-clad house at 900 National street has been unoccupied for many years. It has a relatively new steel roof, so it has not obviously suffered the water damage and rot that destroys most abandoned Vicksburg houses. But the windows have been open or rotted, and vines have crept up and into some rooms. Someone does periodically cut the lawn, sort-of.

A February 18, 2020, article in the Vicksburg Post stated that this was one of three blighted houses in town slated for imminent demolition.
The house was clad with asbestos shingles, which were popular in the 1920s and later. The shingles hold paint well, do not rot, and resist fire from external sources, meaning embers from fires. During the turn of the century, many homes in Vicksburg heated with coal. Embers often went up chimneys and landed on roofs. Asbestos shingles solved the hazard of roofs and siding catching on fire.
National Street is pretty grungy now. It is an example of the urban decay I see in so many USA towns and cities - our race to the bottom. As of July 2020, the 2-story house was still standing. Possibly the Trump Virus disrupted the City's plans regarding blighted properties, or possibly someone bought the house and promised to make repairs.
1920s concrete bridge over Stouts Bayou, National Street
Stouts Bayou view north from National Street (Olympus Trip 35, Kodak TMax 100 film)
Stouts Bayou flows through Vicksburg. It was partly channelized in the 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. It has received minimal maintenance since then.

I took the four 2019 photographs with Kodak Panatomic-X film using my Hasselblad 501CM camera, tripod-mounted. Praus Productions in Rochester, NY, developed the film in XTOL. I scanned the negatives with a Minolta Scan Multi medium format film scanner.


Mike said...

It seems like it would be quite a challenge to tear down that place without contaminating the whole block.

Kodachromeguy said...

Oh, no problem here. They will find a contractor who strips the asbestos shingles. Remember, they are rigid shingles, a concrete matrix containing asbestos. They are not soft fibers, like pipe insulation. Then a tractor will pull down the wood frame building. A few days and it is done.