Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day in the Delta Part II

Although I entered Greenville yesterday from what seemed to be the least likely approach (the side next to the Mississippi River levee), it also took me into town less than 2 blocks from my final destination (unbeknownst to me when planning the route) and into a very historical area of Greenville.
This is the old Elks Club building, though I was unable to find any other information other than the name.

A block over from the Hebrew Union Congregation Temple stands the St. Joseph's Catholic Church. The church has a "sister church" in Haarlem, Holland.

This beautiful old building sits vacant. Clearly, it was once an auto dealership showroom, though I could not find any additional information about the building itself.
Near the area is a "retirement" apartment building, the Delta Towers. The organization was established in 1982, though I could find nothing about the building. I liked the concrete details on the windows. The building also sported a semi-round covering over the front doors, and just seemed like something I would sooner expect to see in New York than in Mississippi.
Circling the block attempting to get close enough to the Delta Towers, this auditorium caught my attention. It is the Ella Darling Elementary School.

This niche and the intricate detail work above the columns made me think more of a church building than a school. I was unable to find any information other than it used to be "Central School" according to the oral history of the Rev. Ted Shepherd.
This beautiful old house stands across from the school, and is clearly in need of saving before it becomes only another vacant lot, though I would presume that will be highly unlikely to occur. So many historic buildings are located in neighborhoods that are sorely impoverished, and it is rare to find someone (or some organization) who will invest the funds necessary.

Still, it was an unexpected treat to view all the historic buildings in the area, too many for me to capture in my limited time. No doubt about it though, another trip to Greenville is in order, equipped with the necessary camera and accessories to do the town justice.

Tomorrow I will finish the Delta post with the trip home--up highway 1, following the Mississippi River levee.


ELMalvaney said...

Greenville has so many fine buildings, but it has also lost so many through abandonment over the last few decades. Glad you still found plenty to photograph.

The Elks Club was listed on the Mississippi Heritage Trust's 10 Most Endangered Places list in 2003 (http://www.mississippiheritage.com/list03.html). Here's what they had to say about the building:

"In its heyday the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elk, No. 148 Lodge, also known as the "Cotton Pickers" Elk Lodge, was the social center for Greenville. Originally chartered in 1890, the "Cotton Pickers" built their once proud Neo-classic home in Greenville in 1906 and opened the doors in 1907. The Greenville Times of February 16, 1907, described the building as including a billiard hall, a barbershop, and a full library decorated with rare and expensive oil paintings and as being lighted by both gas and electricity. The "Cotton Pickers" Lodge has been converted many times since the Elks left. Now the home of the Mississippi Action for Community Education (M.A.C.E.), an organization committed to the preservation and education of African-American culture, the building is in urgent need of help. In the 1990's, M.A.C.E. and other concerned citizens saved the building several times from the bulldozer and had the building designated a Mississippi Landmark in 2002. If care is not taken soon to restore the building, the city could force demolition."

tombarnes said...

The Delta Towers was, I believe, the Hotel Greenville, built ca. 1940. It served as a hotel until perhaps the late 1970s and was converted into a retirement home after sitting vacant for several years.