Downtown Tupelo seeks Historic District status

Tupelo StockDaily Journal

Downtown Tupelo Main Street is seeking to include several blocks to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In a letter to business owners in the area, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association said nomination to the National Register will be sought next month by the Mississippi National Register Review Board.

The Mississippi board meets March 20 at 1 p.m. at the Charlotte Capers Building in Jackson.

The National Register of Historic Places, is the federal government’s list of “districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant to the history of their community, state or the nation,” according to the National Park Service, which oversees the program.

One advantage of historic district designation is that property owners may be eligible for a 20 percent investment tax credit. They’re also qualified for federal grants for historic preservation when funds are available.

“Our main focus is an economic development tool,” said DTMSA Director Debbie Brangenberg. “Property owners do not have to do anything to their property because of a designation. If they do, they will follow the same design criteria that is already in place for downtown, and also apply for the income Investment taxcredits. In other words, nothing changes from what already exists, this designation simply gives us an incentive that we have not had.”

And the NPS said owners of private property listed in the National Register “are free to maintain, manage or dispose of their property as they choose provided that no Federal monies are involved.”