Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation                Back to Home

1107 Washington Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi  39183   
601-636-5010     E-Mail

The Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation was founded in 1958 by Eva Davis.  Ms. Davis had founded the Warren County Historical Society and had helped to save the Old Court House from demolition. 

The Old Court House

In the 1950s, historic buildings were seriously threatened with extinction and Ms. Davis believed that an organization dedicated to preservation, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, needed to be formed in Vicksburg.  A group of like-minded people established the organization and, in 1959, the Foundation was chartered.

Since its inception, the VFHP has worked tirelessly to identify, preserve, protect, and interpret Vicksburg's built environment.  Though a series of Certified Local Government Grants, the Foundation staff and volunteers have inventoried over 2800 historic resources within the City limits.

Typical Vicksburg Historic neighborhood

The VFHP completed forms, photographed these buildings and maintains files on each.  In addition, we have completed four National Register District nominations resulting in the listing of the following in the National Register of Historic Places.

South Cherry Street National Register District
Uptown Vicksburg National Register District
Main Street National Register District (Amended)
Grove-Jackson Street National Register District
Glenwood Circle-Vicklan Street National Register District

These districts include approximately 500 resources which, if contributing to the district, qualify the structure for certain federal and state tax credits.  The Foundation staff has also completed individual nominations for the National Register for many historically and architecturally significant buildings in Vicksburg.

Preserving buildings can be accomplished through a variety of means, namely purchasing or optioning a building that is in danger of being demolished or being renovated for a purpose that would damage the historic fabric of the building.

The Foundation has purchased a number of buildings including the Governor McNutt House, the Lorraine Apartments, the Bazsinsky Stables, and the old Western Auto buildings, and have stabilized each and sold them to individuals who would rehabilitate them.

The Foundation worked with the City of Vicksburg in the 1980s to purchase three buildings along north Cherry Street that were slated for demolition by the City.  We sold the buildings to an investor who rehabilitated the houses and they remain residences today.

In the 1990s, when St. Francis School moved to Clay Street and the Sisters of Mercy moved out of their complex of buildings on Crawford Street, the Foundation purchased an option from the Sisters.  The property had been the focus of a group of investors who wished to develop the buildings for a purpose that would have damaged its integrity. The Foundation believed that the highest and best use for the property was not low income housing, but something that took advantage of the unique spaces available in each of the five buildings. The City of Vicksburg purchased the property at the end of the option and, with the help of a committee of like-minded individuals, the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation was organized to rehabilitate the buildings into a cultural center. 

In order to protect buildings, the Foundation helped to established the Historic Vicksburg District under a historic preservation ordinance of the City of Vicksburg.  Since 1973, the Vicksburg Board of Architectural Review has approved Certificates of Appropriateness for exterior work proposed in the District.  The purpose of the preservation ordinance is to ensure that the character of the District is not destroyed.  The Foundation continues to provide support to the Board on technical issues, updates the ordinance as required, and has written the design review guidelines.

The Foundation interprets the built environment through a variety of programs.  These include architectural walking tours, lectures, printed materials, and Fall Tour of Homes, and other events and programs to encourage the recognition of the importance of historic preservation and need to preserve and protect Vicksburg's architectural heritage.

The Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

In 1979, the Biedenharn family restored the building at 1107 Washington Street which housed the Biedenharn Candy Company where Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time in the world in 1894.  The family and the Foundation worked with Coca-Cola Enterprises to install exhibits interpreting the history of the Biedenharns and Coca-Cola and the family gave the building to the Foundation to operate as a lasting memorial to the family and as a fundraising tool for the support of historic preservation in our community. 

Please visit to learn more about the family, Coca-Cola and the museum.


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