Time and Tide: Katrina and the Old Capitol

On September 2, 2015, in Photographs, by Timothy
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This post is part of an ongoing series, “Time and Tide: Ten Years after Katrina.” Special thanks to Nan Prince, Museum Division, for writing this post.

Katrina Blog 1-Roof Damage(Resized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi has been without a state history museum since Hurricane Katrina passed through Jackson on August 29, 2005, when high winds ripped off part of the Old Capitol Museum’s copper roof. With the roof peeled back like a banana, rainwater drenched the second and third floors of the museum’s south side, including exhibit areas and a collection storage room filled with artifacts.

Katrina Blog 4 - Roof Damage(Resized)

Al McClinton and Museum Division director Lucy Allen stand on the roof of the Old Capitol after the storm.

 

Katrina Blog 2 - Roof Damage(Resized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MDAH staff arrived the morning of August 30 and immediately began pulling artifacts out of the wet collection storage room and exhibit areas and laid them out to dry in other areas of the museum.  Approximately 3,200 affected artifacts, including a large collection of Civil War battle flags and more than 100 Choctaw baskets, were moved to dry areas of the building, and several large dehumidifiers were placed throughout the Old Capitol to lower the humidity.

Katrina Blog 6-Interior Water Damage(Resized)

Katrina Blog 8-Moving Artifacts to Dry(Resized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the next several weeks, staff assessed each affected artifact for damage.  Approximately 250 damaged artifacts were sent to conservators.  Almost $88,000 was spent on artifact conservation with financial assistance coming from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mississippi Humanities Council, and FEMA. All 12,000 artifacts in the collection were moved out of the Old Capitol and placed in temporary storage.

Katrina Blog 10-Staff Assessing Artifacts for Damage(Resized)

Katrina Blog 11-Moving Artifacts out of the Building(Resized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the extensive water damage to plaster walls and ceilings, the Old Capitol’s oak floors and twin spiral staircases were damaged. Katrina exacerbated existing problems with the building, including rising damp, poor foundation, cracked walls and limestone, and other structural issues.

Katrina Blog 7-Interior Water Damage(Resized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2006 the Mississippi Legislature passed a $14 million bond bill for the full restoration of the Old Capitol and the design and fabrication of the exhibits.  The “new” Old Capitol Museum opened in early 2009 and hosted the opening day of the Mississippi Legislature.  Built in 1839, the Old Capitol building served as the seat of state government until a new capitol building was built in 1903. It then served as a state office building until it was renovated in 1961 and became the home of the state history museum for the next 45 years. Today the Old Capitol Museum interprets the history of the building and contains exhibits on government and historic preservation.

Katrina Blog 12-Gov. Barbour running the backhoe at the Old Capitol Restoration Groundbreaking(Resized)

Governor Haley Barbour on site with a backhoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Museum of Mississippi History is currently under construction along with the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and will open in December of 2017 in celebration of the state’s bicentennial.  After an absence of twelve years, Mississippi will again have a state history museum.

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This week marks the third anniversary since the re-opening of the Old Capitol Museum after its post-Katrina restoration. These photographs of the 2007-2008 restoration were taken by OCM Director Clay Williams.

Old Capitol Restoration senate chamber

Work on the ceiling of the Senate Chamber

Old Capitol Restoration senate floor

Working on the floor of the Senate Chamber

Old Capitol Restoration state library

Scaffolding in the State Library

Old Capitol Restoration exterior

Rear view of the Old Capitol

View more photos in the Old Capitol Restoration Gallery. Old Capitol Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m., free of charge. Located at Capitol and State Streets in downtown Jackson, parking in rear.

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Old Capitol Museum exterior

Today marks the third anniversary of the grand opening of the Old Capitol Museum after its post-Katrina restoration. OCM Director Clay Williams documented the 2007-2008 restoration of this National Historic Landmark in hundreds of photographs. We have selected a few to look at here, but you can view more in the Restoration Gallery. Read more about the restoration here.

Old Capitol restoration House Chamber

Workers in the House of Representatives Chamber

Old Capitol Restoration 1st floor corridor

Plaster work in 1st floor corridor

Old Capitol Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m., free of charge. Located at Capitol and State Streets in downtown Jackson, parking in rear.

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"Downtown Jackson At Night, Time Exposure - Shot From Balcony of Old Capitol Building." 195-. Call Number: PI/COL/1981.0066, item 72 (MDAH Collection)

"Downtown Jackson At Night, Time Exposure - Shot From Balcony of Old Capitol Building." 195-. Call Number: PI/COL/1981.0066, item 72 (MDAH Collection)

Hugh Warren Shankle (1921- ) was a photo technician with WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, during the late 1950s and ’60s. He was also the official photographer for the Mississippi Art Association and timpanist in the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. This collection consists of two hundred sixty eight images of local personalities, beauty contestants, inauguration ceremonies, and historical houses and buildings in Jackson and other locations in Mississippi, as well as Ole Miss football, including the January 2, 1962, Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Click here to view the collection.

Photographs of Gulf Coast landmarks such as the Biloxi Lighthouse and Beauvoir are in the collection, as well as Windsor Ruins and the aftermath of the 1966 Candlestick Park, Jackson, tornado.

Hall of Fame: Garvin Dugas Shands

On September 22, 2011, in Artifacts, Portraits, by Amanda
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Nominations are currently being sought for the 2011 class of the Mississippi Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors women and men who made noteworthy contributions to the state. Consideration for the Hall of Fame takes place only once every five years and any Mississippian—native or adopted—deceased at least five years may be nominated. The deadline for nominations is October 1, and elections will be held at a special meeting of the MDAH board of trustees in December. Click here for complete nomination guidelines.

This series recognizes members of the Hall of Fame, whose portraits hang in the Old Capitol Museum. Special thanks to Anna Todd, University of Southern Mississippi student and MDAH summer intern, for researching this post.

Garvin D. Shands, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession Number: 1978.117 (Museum Division Collection)

Garvin D. Shands, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession Number: 1978.117 (Museum Division Collection)

Garvin Dugas Shands (1844-1917) was a lawyer, Confederate veteran, and statesman. His parents were from South Carolina, but in 1868 the family moved to Mississippi where his father began a medical practice. Shands was attending Wofford College when the Civil War started and he joined the Confederate army. After the war, he moved to Panola County, and later Tate County, where he taught and read the law. He earned a law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1870 and opened a successful practice in Senatobia. He married Mary E. Roseborough and had five children. “Twin Oaks,” the home he built in Senatobia still stands today.

In 1876, he was elected to the state legislature and subsequently served for eight years as lieutenant governor during the administration of Governor Robert Lowery. He is perhaps most widely known for his tenure as professor and as the first dean of the School of Law at the University of Mississippi, serving from 1894 to 1906. He moved to New Orleans and was professor of law at Tulane University beginning in 1906. His portrait was presented to the Mississippi Hall of Fame in 1938 by his descendants.

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