News Releases

MDAH Board Approves Demolition Permit For Eudora Welty Library Building

April 19, 2024

Jackson, Miss.—At its April 19 quarterly meeting, the Mississippi Department of Archives History (MDAH) Board of Trustees approved a demolition permit for the Eudora Welty Library building in Jackson. The permit approval followed a period of public comment during which two comments were received supporting the demolition and three against. 

This building was built in 1946 as a Sears department store. In the late 1980s, it became the downtown public library and was named for Mississippi author Eudora Welty. By 2023, the building was in serious disrepair, the City declared that it would no longer maintain it, and the Jackson/Hinds Library Board voted to move the library to a different location.  

MDAH will continue to work with the City of Jackson and the Jackson/Hinds Library Board to mitigate the loss of the historic building. Proposed strategies include providing MDAH grant funds for the adaptive reuse of a downtown historic building to house the library. 

In 2024, MDAH acquired the library property with plans to replace the building with a new public park and green. The plans for this project align with the original layout for Jackson from 1822, which included public green spaces on alternating blocks. There are currently only two: the Old Capitol Green and Smith Park.  

MDAH is working with a national firm that specializes in park design to create a vista between the Two Mississippi Museums and State Street, which will connect to the Museum Trail and enhance the experience of visitors to the Two Mississippi Museums. The first $1 million for the project was donated by retired businessman Noble T. Crigler, and the park will be named after his late wife, Margaret Ann Crigler. The Mississippi Legislature has provided funding for the project, and the remaining funds will be raised privately by the Foundation for Mississippi History.  

MDAH board president Spence Flatgard commented, “We have the opportunity to replace an abandoned building with a beautiful public park that will be an asset to our capital city. We are grateful to Noble Crigler, the Mississippi Legislature, and the other donors who will help us make this vision real. We are committed to helping the City and the library system find a suitable location downtown for a new state-of-the-art Eudora Welty Library.” 

Members of the MDAH Board of Trustees are Spence Flatgard, president, Ridgeland; Nancy Carpenter, vice president, Columbus; Reginald Buckley, Jackson; Carter Burns, Natchez; Betsey Hamilton, New Albany; Mark E. Keenum, Starkville; Lucius Lampton, Magnolia; and TJ Taylor, Madison. 

For more information, call 601-576-6934, email


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