State grants funds to move Spain House

By Emily Le Coz | NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Efforts to relocate the historic Spain House got a boost from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which this month awarded a $175,000 grant toward the project.
Tupelo Historic Preservation Commission member Doyce Deas confirmed the award Monday.
“I’m just thrilled,” she told the Daily Journal. “Archives and History knew the house was at risk and bent over backwards to work with us.”
The city had applied for the grant in early October at the urging of the commission, which has spent the past two years trying to save the century-old home from demolition.
Money will be used to transport the house from its current location at the corner of West Main and Madison streets to an empty lot on the corner of South Church and Carnation streets. The city owns that lot and already agreed to have the house sit there.
Tupelo must provide a $35,000 match as part of the grant agreement.
The move could happen by this spring, Deas said. The house then will be stabilized and secured until the city and the commission can find funds to renovate it.
Calvary Baptist Church purchased the house several years ago but said renovating it wasn’t feasible and instead planned to tear it down. Its decision sparked a move by the commission to declare the home a historic landmark, thus sparing it from the wrecking ball.
Both parties have been working together to relocate the house.

Click video to hear audio