A few weeks ago I posted about the planned demolition of Miller Hall on the University of Mississippi campus. I felt very smart when yesterday at lunch, one of my colleagues asked, "Why are they tearing down Miller Hall?" and I had the answer. No one seemed all that upset about the demolition of the building, but there was concern over having ripped out all the trees and shrubs that had been part of the area. Perhaps a gigantic 720-resident facility will take up much more space and it will need all the space, but it did seem a loss that the trees are no longer there.
Following that conversation, I mentioned the Poplar Hill School in Fayette, and some volunteer work that I am about to do for them. Once again, I felt pretty smart when they asked how I learned about that and I responded "I follow the Preservation in Mississippi blog." That led to the explanation of the efforts to save the Poplar Hill School, as well as a general discussion of preserving historic buildings, including the one in which we are housed, Longstreet, and Hill Hall and Vardamon Hall, our next door neighbors. It is rather interesting that all 3 buildings (which are connected by walkways on either side) were built at the same time, and yet the renovation of Longstreet was a total remodel, while the renovation of Hill maintained original woodwork, paint and tile colors and replication, and had to keep all historical items in tact (original doors, stair railings, cabinetry, etc.) Vardamon--home to the William Winter Institute of Racial Reconciliation--is in dire need of restoration, although there is no word on when that might come.