Is the VFHP a
part of city government?
VFHP tell me what I can do with my building?|
Why does the
VFHP care what I do with my building?
VFHP receive tax money?
grants available to help me improve my property?
grants are not available, what other incentives are there to aid in
confused. Are there different types of historic districts in
Do I have to
be invited to join the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic
Do I need to be
a dues paying member to help the Foundation?
the difference between the Foundation and the Historical Society?
What is a
Do I need
the approval of the City to paint or do work to my home or business?
Can the Foundation help me with my application for a Certificate of Appropriateness?
Are gifts to
the Foundation tax deductible?
“The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards?”
property eligible for the National Register of Historic Places?
Is the VFHP a part of city
The Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that is
governed by a volunteer board of directors, consisting of city
residents. The Foundation does take an active role in the city’s
preservation efforts by participating in community preservation
planning objectives, attending the city’s board of architectural
review meetings as an interested party and works, at the request of
the city staff and property owners, to review applications to the
City’s Board of Architectural Review and suggests strategies to
achieve sympathetic and compatible changes to existing buildings and
plans for new construction.
Can the VFHP tell me what I
can do with my building?
The Foundation can only suggest to the City, the Board of
Architectural Review, and property owners options to best achieve
the objectives of the City’s historic preservation ordinance. If a
building is located within the Historic Vicksburg District, the
Foundation’s staff is available to help property owners make
application to the Board of Architectural Review for changes that
meet the guidelines of the district.
Why does the VFHP care what I do
with my building?
The Foundation is the
principal advocacy group in Vicksburg for preservation of our unique
historic and architectural environment. The Foundation was founded
because of the concern of Vicksburg residents that their city was
losing a great many properties whose architectural style contributed
to making Vicksburg special. From the shotgun house to the
antebellum mansion, Vicksburg’s diverse architectural inventory
should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Just as any professional
organization must execute their obligations to the best of their
ability, the Foundation has the obligation to actively advocate for
historic preservation. Through day to day interaction with elected
officials, city staff, community organizations, developers and
property owners, the Foundation’s obligation to its membership is to
advise, assist and advocate those it works with of the importance
and the benefits of historic preservation. Essentially, it is our
job to become involved in preservation issues and to further, as
best we can, preservation of what makes Vicksburg unique.
Does the VFHP receive tax
No. The Foundation’s income is
derived from membership dues paid to the Foundation, fundraisers
such as the annual Mardi Gras Ball and the Fall Tour of Homes,
donations, retail sales and admissions at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola
Museum, which the Foundation operates as a funding source, and
through consulting projects that the Foundation undertakes such as
the preparation and submittal of National Register nominations,
cultural resource surveys and the publication of historic
preservation publications such as the Historic Vicksburg Walking
Tour Guide and the Historic Preservation Information Series
pamphlets for the City of Vicksburg.
Are there grants available to
help me improve my property?
Generally no. Although the
Mississippi Department of Archives and History administers a number
of historic preservation grant programs, funds are limited to
further specific preservation objectives such as the Mississippi
Landmarks program which was established by the Legislature to
provide grant funds for the rehabilitation of buildings listed by
the MDAH as Mississippi Landmarks.
The Community Heritage Grant
Program, also administered by Archives and History helps preserve
and restore historic courthouses and schools and in Certified Local
Government communities, other historic structures as Archives may
The only local grant available
is the façade grant program for buildings within the Main Street
Taxing District. The grant is for 1/3 of the cost of rehabilitating
the main façade up to $1,000. Application for the grant must be
made prior to beginning work through the Main Street office by
Should other grant opportunities
become available, notice will be given in the News and
Upcoming Events section of this website.
If grants are not
available, what other incentives are there to aid in the
rehabilitation of a building?
On the federal level, there is the Historic
Investment Tax Credit program for buildings that are listed in the
National Register and that are being rehabilitated for income
producing purposes. Currently the credit is 26% of the rehab costs
with the nature of the work being approved by the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History and the National Park Service.
On the state level, there is the State of Mississippi
Historic Tax Credit program for buildings that are listed in the
National Register and that are being rehabilitated for private
residences or for income-producing purposes. Currently the credit
is 25% of the rehab costs with the nature of the work being approved
by the MDAH.
On the local level, there is a tax abatement
available for major rehab projects which are located within the
Historic Vicksburg District. Applications for the abatement can be
picked up in the office of the historic preservation facilitator at
I’m confused. Are there
different types of historic districts in Vicksburg?
Yes, the City of Vicksburg has adopted an ordinance
establishing a local historic district, named the Historic Vicksburg
District, and regulates certain activities in that district such as
changes to existing structures, demolitions, and new building
activity. There are also four National Register Districts
designated in Vicksburg that are a part of the Department of the
Interior’s National Register Program. Generally speaking, the City
does not regulate activity in those areas unless the specific site
is also situated within the local district.
Do I have to be invited to join
the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation?
No. Membership is open to anyone interested in our
city and the objectives of the Foundation. Membership levels are:
individual, family, patron, business, corporate, organization and
Do I need to be a dues paying
member to help the Foundation?
No. Although the Foundation
encourages membership, anyone can volunteer to assist the Foundation
in a number of ways such as doing research, assisting in
presentations, helping with fundraising events, or maintenance of
the Vicksburg Foundation and Biedenharn Coca-Cola building.
What is the difference
between the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation and the
Vicksburg Warren County Historical Society?
Both organizations were started
by the same woman, Eva Davis, because she believed that there needed
to be two separate groups with separate missions. The Historical
Society exists to operate the Old Court House Museum and to preserve
artifacts that reflect the history of the Vicksburg-Warren County
area. The Foundation was established to identify, preserve, protect
and interpret the built environment of Vicksburg, as opposed to
What is a historic resource?
What makes something historic?
Not everything that is old is historic, so how do we decide what is
and what isn’t? A judgment is made about what is important to our
history and culture at a local, state, or national level. A
resource that is important to Vicksburg might never appear on a list
of nationally significant places, but can be historic. Some
resources are important because they are such wonderful examples of
architecture or engineering. Others are important for their
connection to past people or events. While age is a factor, mostly
50 years old, it is not a hard and fast rule. Bridges,
neighborhoods, monuments and sculptures can also be historic
Each property within the City’s local historic district
and all four of the National Register districts has been surveyed to
determine its architectural/historical significance. According to
standards adopted by the City of Vicksburg for the local district
and the Department of the Interior for the National Register
districts, each building is classified as either contributing or
non-contributing. Contributing buildings are those that, in the
view of the city or Interior Department, are essential to the
district’s sense of place and that maintain the architectural and
historic significance of the district.
Do I need the approval of the
City to paint or do work to my home or business?
Yes, if the structure is located
within the locally adopted Historic Vicksburg District, you must
apply to the City of Vicksburg for a Certificate of Appropriateness
for any action including: any exterior feature of construction,
alteration, restoration, moving, demolition, or repair of existing
buildings or improvements involving or resulting in a change in the
existing structural composition or architectural design or character
of such building or improvement; and all exterior features of new
construction; and all proposed changes to existing plot plans, site
layout, off-strict parking areas and other features such as walls,
walks, terraces, fences, signs, and lights.
Applications for a Certificate
of Appropriateness are available at the City of Vicksburg’s
Inspection Department, 805 South Street Vicksburg, MS 39180.
Is the Vicksburg Foundation
for Historic Preservation available to assist me with my application
for a Certificate of Appropriateness?
Yes, the Foundation’s telephone
number is 601-636-5010 and ask for Nancy Bell or email
Are gifts to the Foundation tax
Yes, the Vicksburg Foundation
for Historic Preservation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit
organization as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
What are “The Secretary of the
Briefly, they are broad
principles developed by the National Park Service, Department of the
Interior, to help protect our Nation’s resources. For more
information, see the National Park’s Technical Preservation website.
What are “Preservation Briefs?”
They are easy-to-read guidelines
for preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings
published by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
They are available in print or online at http://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm
Preservation Briefs cover such
issues pertaining to historic buildings as the following and many
more: repointing mortar joints, roofing, dangers of abrasive
cleaning, aluminum and vinyl siding, repair of historic wooden
windows, and new exterior additions.
Is my property eligible for the
National Register of Historic Places?
To qualify for the National
Register of Historic Places, a property should be at least fifty
years old and have significance at the local, state, or national
level in at least one of the following criteria:
associated with a particular place or event in time that was
important to our history
associated with events that were important to our history
structure, or objects with architectural or engineering importance.
They may be examples of a type, period, or method of construction,
or they may be the work of a master, or possess high artistic
value. Groupings of properties may share a common heritage, such as
a historic district
Resources that have yielded, or may yield in the future, important
information about our prehistory or history
In addition to meeting at least
one of these four criteria, a property must also have integrity.
For more information about the National Register go to http://www.nps.gov/nr/
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