By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – After spending its first century as a residence, the newly renovated R.C. Clark House will have a chance to serve its next 100 years as an office suite.
The stately North Church Street structure recently underwent extensive remodeling by Tupelo businessman Brad Prewitt, who feted the project’s completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour late Tuesday afternoon.
“In light of the mayor’s push for revitalization,” Prewitt said to a crowd of about 100 people, “we thought this would be a great case study of what could and should happen.”
Present at the event were U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, both R-Miss., Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Hank Holmes, state Sens. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, and Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, as well as Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
“Tupelo not being an antebellum town,” Reed said, “there’s even more reason to preserve what historic structures we do have.”
Prewitt and his wife, Mindy, purchased the two-story property in 2009 and hired Tupelo contractor Lynn Bryan to head the renovation effort. Because Prewitt had the home listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it allowed him to obtain tax credits toward its revitalization.
Holmes said state and federal tax credits make renovation projects such as the R.C. Clark House quite affordable. He thanked Cochran and Wicker for their continued support of the credits and historic preservation in general.
Richard Cottrell and Margaret Maynard Clark built the house in 1910. R.C. Clark’s family had started the Bank of Verona, which later became the Bank of Tupelo and today is BancorpSouth.
The Clarks lived there nine years before selling it to Lloyd Sadler, a cotton businessman. Twenty years later, Sadler sold it to George and Veneda Davis, who both were educators.
The Salders lived there until 1973 when they sold it to the Sheffield family, which retained the property until the Prewitts bought it.
The house now serves as the offices of three attorneys, including Prewitt.
“We are proud,” said Cochran, Prewitt’s former boss, “of what you have done.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.