Part of a Vicksburg landmark has collapsed, community funding n - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Part of a Vicksburg landmark has collapsed, community funding needed for repairs

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Part of a Mississippi landmark that housed Nuns and taught thousands of students in Vicksburg is now disappearing.  Built in the 1800's The St. Francis Xavier Convent  building, now known as The Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, had a portion of an exterior wall collapse. 

“I was scared, I was sad and faced with the challenge," said non-profit executive director Stacey Massey. "Oh my goodness, we have to fix this.”

A supersized plastic rain shield now covers a portion of nearly two centuries of history in Vicksburg that is now gone. The reason why it collapsed is still a mystery.

“First it was a good little load of bricks that came down and then a couple of weeks would go by and another section," said Massey. "Each time it went further and further up the building.” 

This long time landmark was once a convent and school. Now the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation operates here, hosting cultural activities such as concerts, art shows, lectures, tours, book signings and even weddings.

“It is hard to function without being able to exit here," said the organization's office manager Margaret Thames. "That is our exit usually and now we are going in and out one way. It kind of tugs at your heart strings when you see this gorgeous building, when you see it collapsing.” 

A 54 foot temporary wall is going up until a structural engineer examines the historic structure and a new wall is built, but that won't be cheap.  It’s going to cost more than $200,000 and the organization admits they don't have all the money and leaning on the community for help.

“We have raised over $7,000, but we still have a ways to go,” said Massey.

“Without the donations and without people in the community it's not possible without everyone,” said Thames.

Here is how you can help the foundation:

Send checks made payable to Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, to 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS 39180.  Donations may be made in memory or in honor of loved ones.

For more information or to make a donation by phone, please call 601.631.2997. 

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