April 19, 2014 10:59:24 PM
VICKSBURG -- State archivists have recommended the former Monte Carlo building in Vicksburg be included on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History notified local officials last month.
Owner Linda Fondren said she is also hoping to get Mississippi Landmark status for the building.
Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, told The Vicksburg Post owners of buildings on the national register can take advantage of certain tax incentives and grants to rehabilitate their building.
Bell said state landmark designation will allow Fondren to apply for special grants, but the Archives and History agency has regulations that control changes to landmark-designated structures.
"That's done to protect the architectural and historic integrity of the building," Bell said.
Fondren wants to put a restaurant on the building's first floor and a multicultural museum and interpretive center on the second floor. Fondren has said the museum will be called the Catfish Row Museum and feature exhibits on the area's history, culture and people. The building was built in 1911 for Christian and Burroughs Co., which built wagons and carriages. It was later occupied by a car dealership and a 7-Up bottling plant until the 1960s.
It was turned into a nightclub called the Monte Carlo in the 1970s and '80s. In 2007 the city razed the north section of the building, which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Fondren and her husband bought it in December 2011.
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