Pascagoula leaders apply for funding to restore city landmark

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula leaders want to give one of the city's landmark buildings a much needed facelift. The city is now hoping to get grant money to make it happen.

The Jolly McCarty Historic Depot in downtown Pascagoula was built in 1904, and has served as a gateway to the city for years. The Singing River Art Association and the Main Street office are now located in the building. There's a problem, the structure is now deteriorating.

"There are a couple of leaks throughout the building. There is a slate roof and so that definitely needs to be weatherized to stop any further damage when the rain comes through," Pascagoula grant administrator Beth Meyer said.

Inside, the facility has some structural issues. Mona Amis is curator for the art portion of the depot and has seen a lot of the problems.

"The building has aged so since I have been here that it's unreal. When I get up to walk, I am not sure if the floor is going to buckle or go sideways. I have had to put things in front of artwork to keep a lady from walking and tripping," Amis said.

The building is also shifting. Amis said some of pictures on the wall look crooked.  It is also a challenge using the restroom because the door is off track.

"It was best to put a hook on the outside door and brick inside, so when you go inside you throw the brick in front of the door, so nobody will open the door on you," Amis said.

Grant Administrator Beth Meyer has applied for a $689,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to restore the landmark.

"We are looking at five or six phases for the leveling of the floor, the replacement of the roof entirely, utilities that are going to need to update," Meyer said.

Both Meyer and Amis said the facelift would also help preserve this community symbol for future generations.

"We are definitely just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that we do get the funding."

The MDHA Board of Trustees will select the projects to fund next month. The train depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has also been certified as a state landmark since 1985.

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