Historic house in Tupelo to be demolished

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – One of the city’s top 10 most endangered historic properties will be demolished next week after years of neglect.
The Savery House, at 1111 Belledeer Drive, is a two-story classic revival home that belonged to friends of Elvis Presley, who would stay there on his return trips home to Tupelo. It was listed by the Tupelo Historic Preservation Commission in 2008 as one of the city’s most endangered historic structures.
But now it’s set for destruction. The city hired Ford Excavating of Saltillo to tear down the house Feb. 16, six months after a public hearing to assess its condition.
“It’s in really bad shape,” said Debra Byrd, Tupelo building inspector. “The bricks are pulling away from it, and I fear they’re going to fall one of these days. It’s been years since anyone has properly maintained it.”
The house is tucked away in an upscale residential neighborhood where neighbors have frequently complained about it, Byrd said. It has stood empty since its most recent owners, Mike and Marie Salts, were arrested for embezzlement.
It’s now owned by a Houston, Texas, group called Pledged Property.
Historic Preservation Commission member Tish Wright called the home’s destruction a shame and that the commission can do little about it but voice its disappointment. She did, however, admit that the city had no real choice in the matter.
“That house was always in danger of falling in because of foundation problems,” Wright said. “The only thing to do with that lot is demolish the lot and start over.”
Ford Excavating won the bid to demolish the house for $4,900. Work is set to begin early in the morning on Feb. 16.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.