Mississippi Landmarks

Publicly owned properties that are determined to be historically or architecturally significant may be considered for Mississippi Landmark designation, the state’s highest form of recognition. 

A Mississippi Landmark Permit is required prior to the start of any project involving designated or potential Mississippi Landmarks. A potential Mississippi Landmark is any publicly owned property that is of historic, architectural or archaeological significance, as determined by MDAH. The Notice of Intent form serves as the Permit application.

Proposed alterations to a Mississippi Landmark must be approved in advance by the Mississippi Landmark Review Committee of the MDAH Board of Trustees.  Projects must be submitted by the last Thursday of the month to be placed on the Mississippi Landmark Review Committee agenda.

For more information, contact Pam Bach, Mississippi Landmarks Coordinator, at 601-576-6940 or pbach@mdah.ms.gov.
 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Antiquities Law?

The Antiquities Law, passed in 1970 and amended in 1983, affirms the State's interest in locating, protecting, and preserving historic properties. These properties, which include sites, objects, and buildings of historical, archaeological, or architectural significance, are identified in the law as Mississippi Landmarks. The Antiquities Law places the responsibility of implementing the law on the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The Board has established a Mississippi Landmarks Review Committee, composed of the Department director and professional staff in the Department's Historic Preservation Division, to recommend properties for Mississippi Landmark designation and to review any proposed changes to these properties. This process insures that Mississippi's historic, architectural, and cultural heritage is preserved for future generations.

What properties does the Antiquities Law affect?

Any publicly owned property (belonging to the state, counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions) may be determined to have significance and designated as a Mississippi Landmark by the Board of Trustees. 

How are properties designated as Mississippi Landmarks? 

The process begins when a property is identified as eligible for Mississippi Landmark status. At the Board’s discretion, the property may be officially placed under consideration for Mississippi Landmark designation. The owner of the property is then notified and given the opportunity to comment on the possible designation of the property. Public comment is also solicited through a legal notice in the local newspaper and on the MDAH website. The comment period is thirty days. At its next meeting after the comment period, the Board of Trustees considers any comments received and takes formal action on the designation of the property as a Mississippi Landmark. The Mississippi Landmark designation is then recorded in the deed records of the appropriate county's Chancery Clerk office as a perpetual preservation easement.

 

What does Mississippi Landmark status mean? 

Any proposed work that could affect the historical or architectural character of a Mississippi Landmark is subject to review by the Mississippi Landmarks Review Committee. Property owners are required to notify the Committee in the early planning stages, and always prior to the letting of bids, of proposed projects that may affect designated or potential Mississippi Landmarks. This is done by filing a Notice of Intent Form of Public Construction, Public Improvement, or Transfer of Public Property to Private Ownership. This form may be obtained from the Historic Preservation Division and is available on the website. Staff members of the Historic Preservation Division are available to work with public officials, architects, and engineers to ensure compliance with the Antiquities Law. There is no charge for this service. 

Can private property be designated a Mississippi Landmark? 

Yes. The law provides a process for the designation of private property at the request of the owner. Interested property owners must submit a notarized resolution requesting Mississippi Landmark designation, along with documentation of the historical or architectural significance of their property. Resolution forms can be obtained from the Historic Preservation Division. The review process for publicly owned Mississippi Landmarks, as described above, applies to privately owned Mississippi Landmarks, with the exception of the public comment period. 

How can I get more information on the Mississippi Landmark Program? 

Contact Pam Bach, Mississippi Landmarks Coordinator, at 601-576-6940 or pbach@mdah.ms.gov.

 

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