Legislature Funds Manship Repairs

The Manship House Museum will close July 1 to prepare for a nearly half-million-dollar repair of the building's foundation. The floor of the circa-1857 house is thirteen inches out of level, resulting in huge cracks in the plaster walls and gaps at doors and windows throughout the house.

Once the site closes, staff offices and the extensive collection of Manship family furniture and artifacts must be packed and moved off site before repairs to the foundation can begin. Manship House staff will be reassigned to other sites during repairs.

"This is a huge project that will be a major step in the preservation of the building," said Marilynn Jones, Manship House Museum director. "This is also an excellent opportunity for us to evaluate our collection and improve interpretation for when we reopen."

In 2008 the department commissioned Wayne F. Timmer and WFT Architects, P.A., to conduct a historic structure report and condition assessment for the Manship House, a Mississippi Landmark property. The report concludes that the Yazoo clay found throughout the region is mainly responsible for the foundation problems, with a large Magnolia tree on the north side of the house contributing to the instability.

The Mississippi legislature authorized $445,000 for the project this session, and Governor Haley Barbour signed the bill on April 20. A timeline for the project will not be available until construction documents are finalized, but the site could be closed for eighteen months.

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