MDAH Plans Events for Historic Preservation Month

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the Department of Archives and History will celebrate it with a guided walking tour of downtown Jackson, presentations at the Old Capitol Museum, a statewide conference in Natchez, and other activities.

Architectural historians from the department will lead the downtown walking tour on Saturday, May 1. The tour begins at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Old Capitol Museum and explores the city's architectural gems. The tour is part of the international movement Jane’s Walk, in honor of the urbanist Jane Jacobs.

The Old Capitol Museum will also highlight preservation issues in Mississippi when it hosts the History Is Lunch series on Wednesdays throughout the month. Architectural historian Todd Sanders, Historic Natchez Foundation former director Ron Miller, architect Robert Parker Adams, geologist David Dockery, and Mississippi Heritage Trust director David Preziosi will be featured speakers throughout the month. The talks will begin at noon and will be held in the House of Representatives Chamber.

The Mississippi Historic Preservation Conference will focus on the sustainability movement in historic preservation. The two-day meeting begins May 6 at the Eola Hotel in Natchez. Topics will include practical ways to make historic buildings more energy efficient, the durability of historic materials, and how preservation fits into the "Green" movement. The conference is co-sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Heritage Trust.

Petitions, Protests, and Patriotism: Mississippi Women in Preservation, 1890–1950, a special exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum, will run through the end of May. The exhibit explores the impact women had on the early preservation movement in Mississippi.

The preservation theme will extend into June with the third annual "Preservation Boot Camp," June 17–18 at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. Participants will learn how to put historic preservation programs to use in their community.

"Boot Camp is an intensive training opportunity for historic preservation commissioners, building department staff, elected officials, and Certified Local Government Coordinators, as well as individuals interested in historic preservation," said seminar coordinator Michelle Jones. "There is not a more comprehensive training on the fundamentals of historic preservation policy in Mississippi than is offered at the annual Boot Camp."

For more information about events scheduled for Preservation Month, call 601-576-6940.

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