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Board blocks demolition of building in Vicksburg's historic district


VICKSBURG, Mississippi — A Vicksburg businessman's plans to demolish the two-story brick building he owns have been put on hold again by the Board of Architectural Review.

The Vicksburg Post reported ( that the board for a second time refused to give Robert Johnson approval to tear down the building at the corner of Speed and Washington streets to make way for a used-car lot. The board issued a five-month stay on demolition.

The building is in Vicksburg's historic district and board members say it is an important structure. In February, the board had issued a 4 and a half month stay for further consideration of the request.

Demolition stays are issued to give property owners in the district time to consider alternatives to taking them down, such as renovation.

Johnson said in February that he wanted to remove the building. Several board members recommended that Johnson renovate the building, including removing the top floor and remodeling and using its ground-floor portion.

Johnson, however, said he couldn't afford to repair the building.

Several board members also suggested Johnson sell the building, but he said the property's corner lot is a good fit for his proposed car business.

The building was home to a television and electronics repair shop from 1966 to 2009. It was built about 1910 by Lebanese immigrant Elias Bodron, who opened Bodron's Grocery on its first floor.

Information from: The Vicksburg Post,

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