“My hope is that we will make it a headquarters for all historic organizations,” said Doyce Deas, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission that sought landmark status for the house to delay its demolition in 2009. “There’s lots of possibilities.”
Broken into pieces for its journey, the century-old house will move less than half a mile to the corner of South Church and Carnation streets.
The move is funded by a $175,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The city has committed $25,000 toward the project, and Calvary Baptist Church, which needed the house removed from its property at the corner of West Main and Madison Streets, donated $10,000 for the move.
“It’s the best possible solution and outcome,” said Greg Pirkle, a spokesman for Calvary Baptist Church, which purchased the Spain House property in 2006 to give the church room to grow.
Kosciusko House Movers is slated to begin the move at 7 a.m. today, said Johnny Timmons, director of Tupelo Water and Light.
Water and Light crews will cut power along the route and temporarily remove street lights. About 10 homes and two businesses, including the Family Resource Center, will lose power for three to four hours, Timmons said. As the house moves down Magazine and Church streets, Water and Light crews will replace the street lights.
The newly formed Historic Preservation Society will own the house and raise funds to cover its insurance and renovation. The first priority will be rebuilding the porch and replacing the roof.
“We’ll have to do it piece-by-piece,” Deas said.
To accommodate the Spain House move, Magazine Street will be closed from South Madison to Church Street and South Church Street will be closed from Magazine Street to Carnation Street from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.