Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust!

GREENVILLE — A historical landmark was demolished Tuesday.The Finlay House, once the oldest residence in Greenville, is now a pile of rubble, drawing rage from the house’s previous owner and criticism from the Washington County Greenville Joint Historical Preservation Commission.

Walley Morse, the commission’s secretary, called the demolition of the house at 137 N. Poplar St. shameful.“It is a trend that has been going along in Greenville for a long time,” he said. “It’s such a shame to be seeing those great old buildings being torn down for proposed future development that never gets done.”

The Finlay House was the property of the South Delta Regional Housing Authority, which purchased the house from Hank Burdine, of Greenville.

A local construction contractor, Burdine said he not only lived in it, but spent years renovating the home, trying to keep its post-civil war and Italian-styled architecture preserved.

SDRHA Executive Director Ann Jefferson said her organization had the house demolished because of complaints of vandalism and crime that the run-down building was attracting.

Jefferson added that SDRHA was issued a permit from the city of Greenville to destroy the house.“If the house was a historical landmark,” Jefferson said, “Do you think the city of Greenville would have issued us a permit? This doesn’t make any sense. If it was a historical landmark, wouldn’t the city of Greenville have known about it?”

Calls to the city of Greenville’s Permits and Planning Department were directed to the department’s director, Carlon Williams, who was not in.

But a quick Internet search does reveal the Finlay House to be listed on the National Register of Historical Houses. Benjy Nelken, curator of the Greenville History Museum, said he believes the house dated back to the 1870s.The prominent Finlay family of Greenville, who owned several drugstores in Greenville for many years, lived in the house and owned it at a Shelby Street location.

The house, Nelken said, became apartments in the 1950s, with tenants renting the upstairs and the downstairs as separate units. The house was sold to SRDHA by Burdine, who himself purchased the house to save it from demolition and moved it to the Poplar Street location.

Burdine said he sold the house to the SDRHA because he believed that SDRHA would make sure the house was properly maintained.

“I said to myself, ‘Here is an organization that has the wherewithal and the integrity — and I emphasized integrity — to keep it going.” But he said in the 1990s he noticed the house was deteriorating. Subsequently, he helped the SDRHA find several people who were willing to purchase the house. But they were all turned down.

Burdine said three weeks ago he noticed that workers had boarded up the house and that dumpster trucks were parked close to it.“I told those workers that if they don’t restore this house, if the allow it to fall, it would have a better faith burning down,” Burdine said. “They took a piece of my heart with that house.”

Jefferson said no one has ever approached her during her 2-year stint at SDRHA to buy the house. “We were willing to give it away and couldn’t,” Jefferson said.

Another prime example of why Greenville is dying... we have no respect for our history. Throughout the Delta, towns are trying to preserve their history and capitalize on a bygone era, but NOT Greenville!

The statement that Jefferson made about not being able to give it away, certainly rings true. The sad reality is that if you have a house anywhere in Greenville that you are trying to sell, you are in trouble.

Forthright

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tried to call Carolyn Williams ? Are you kidding me ; you actually think one of Governor Hudsons puppets would be in the office.

Anonymous said...

This is an absolute shame! Was this property advertised for sale to the public??? Or were we just supposed to KNOW it? Can you just bulldoze a property now without proper permits???

Anonymous said...

Carlon Williams is the Dept. Head for the Planning Department for the City at the tune of over $50,000 a year in salary. She shows up for work when she feels like it which is about 2 hours a week. She works "from home" due to her "high blood pressure". Best time to catch her is on City Council Meeting days when she has to make a department head report at 4:00 pm.

BAnonymous2 said...

Wow, city government in G'ville sure is laid back these days, me thinks we need a James Lowe clone in office here, he sure is making a diff in Leland gov't.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a historic house to have moved on my land. Guess I missed this one!!

Anonymous said...

Every piece of private property holds some link w/our past and can be considered "historical" to some degree.

But, when a historical house in Greenville literally falls apart - to the point of danger or blight - needs to be torn down. This house was boarded up.

It's not a shame that a blighted property is torn down, it's a shame that it was allowed to become blighted.

Anonymous said...

This house was listed on the National Historic Register and no one thought to check on this??? Absurd!!

Anonymous said...

True Ignorance!! I will contact Federal Authorities about this. SDRHA needs reining in and all permit personnel needs to be fired!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/MS/Washington/state.html

Anonymous said...

This disgusts me. There are SO many dangerous, vandalized properties in Greenville (the entire area around 82 and Hwy 1 comes to mind) that need a bulldozer, and yet this one is demolished?!? Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

If Greenville is going to tear down every boarded-up, delapadated, crack house, we are going to need a lot more bull dozers!

What a shame this wonderful house fell victim to SDRHA and their stupidity. They made no attempt to sell or save the property.

Now I hear that Sears is closing. Belk's just went out of business is Jackson, so I guess the Greenville Mall will soon be for sale.

Going, going....

BAnonymous2 said...

I don't think Belk's went out of business in Jackson, just that one store in the Metro Center. I heard Sears here is considering opening up beside KMart and just having a tool and appliance store for our area.

Anonymous said...

if anyone has been to geyser falls water park in philadelphia, ms, would you please give me your opinion.

Anonymous said...

I think the mall is already for sale,, been up for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Geyser falls is a great fun place o have clean family fun. Lots for the kids to do, fun for adults to.

Anonymous said...

My grandkids love it! It is not a real big park, but plenty to do for all. Sometimes, big is not always better.

Anonymous said...

ok...so with all of this anger for losing a remarkable piece of history, who will save the MACE bldg across from where Sears used to be? It is on it's last leg and if it can be saved and restored, it should be. It is a classic piece of Greenville history!

Anonymous said...

Yes, a classic piece of Greenville history...allowed to rot and ruin by its non-profit owners: MACE. MACE is the same group that has almost killed our Blues Festival because of the graft and corruption by those who run it. The Blues Festival once made millions in advertising and sponsorships. Instead of paying the money to the Blues Artists, the greedy administration of MACE simply lined their pockets while raising the admission price every year.

I would love to see the historic building saved, but I am afraid it is too far gone. MACE has known this for years and done nothing. Now I suppose they want to capitalize on the emotional trauma caused by the unnecessary demolition of the Finlay home.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If Bass can be saved, then so can the old Elks Club. (MACE-owned)

Anonymous said...

All old buildings can be saved, all it takes is money. I am tired of my tax money going to save buildings through these things called grants. This should be a private undertaking only (if it a privately owned building)

Anonymous said...

check this out on youtube. leland alderman acts a fool part1 and part2

Anonymous said...

BTW - as per the Mayor's recent newsletter.
* Vector Disease Control is the Mosquito control specialist for the city of Greenville and they DO make house calls! If you are having an outdoor event or simply need spraying around your home, contact Vector Disease Control at 662-332-7557 and they will come out to spray at no charge. This is a service provided by the City of Greenville.*

No charge??? Let's all call and see if we can get the mosquitos (and flies!!)under control! :>)

Anonymous said...

Hey I did! And the company is coming out tomorrow, free of charge! Thanks for the info! The entire city should do this. Those trucks that spit out their poison are just a waste, it hits the streets and that is about as far as it goes. At least this way the company sprays the yard and around the house. Now, that might do so real good!

Anonymous said...

It's nice to have a positive feel about something in Greenville (the Delta)!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I called too! Getting the same. It is not just the mosquitoes, the flies are maddening. I have to believe this onslaught of flies this summer has to do with once a week pick up of garbage and the stuff molting for 7days until picked up. It is horrible all over town. The flies are big, humming, nasty and vile creatures who are a challenge to slam with a flyswatter. I hope this stuff helps get rid of them too!

Anonymous said...

Vector fella just left my house. I had him drive around my yard,since there is no fence in the way to spray the circumference of the house. I also directed him to concentrate on culverts and ditches, he did.

He also told me that if I call the company number - Vector Disease Control at 662-332-7557- when the trucks are in the area, the driver will come up in the driveway to bring more spray further up in the yard every time that they make the run in the neighborhood...but you have to call to get that service.

He said the spray lasts about two days, killing mosquitos and flies, etc. Yeah! on the flies, they are nearly worse than the mosquitos. After he left, I looked around my porch and carport, NO BUGS! :>) ...and it is all free!

He said anytime a need is there to have an extra spray, just call. You bet I will!!! I hope all of you do the same and if we all do, we have to be able to get these bugs back under control!

Anonymous said...

Do they walk around or just come up cloer in the truck?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if they will come out to the county?

Anonymous said...

Yea--I want something for free. Free free free!

(Gee I wonder what's wrong with Greenville?)

Anonymous said...

Yes, That is exactly what it was:))

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