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Notice for Building 553

Notice for BLDG 553


The United States Navy initiated consultation with the Tennessee State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 in the matter of proposing the demolition of Building 553 at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South. The former residential property was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 for its association with World War II history (Criterion A) and for its architectural design (Criterion C).

    Building 553, a Craftsman-era bungalow constructed in 1910, served as the principal  residence on a small farm that was acquired by condemnation in 1942 as the installation was being established.  It was used as an Officers’ Quarters until the Navy entered into a Public Private Venture (PPV) agreement in 2007 when Navy family housing was conveyed to a private business partner.  The PPV partner refused to accept building 553 on the basis of its age and condition.  Still on the Navy rolls, the property was ultimately converted to a Bed and Breakfast inn operated by the Navy Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department.  Due to its deteriorating condition and high cost of repairs, it was used infrequently from middle 2017 and was last occupied in September 2019. Building 553 was transferred from MWR to the Public Works Department in November 2019 and it has remained vacant to this day.

 

    Building 553 is a wood-frame, rectangular-plan bungalow.  The one-story building has a pier-and-beam foundation and a hipped roof.  Typical for Craftsmen-era bungalows, the residence has a deep-eave overhang with exposed rafter ends. The roof features hipped-roof dormers and an interior brick chimney.  Exterior walls are clad with original wood-drop siding. The south and east façades of building 553 feature bands of double hung, wood-sash windows while its west façade has fixed-frame picture windows.

 

    Building 553 is in a significant state of disrepair.  The gutters and eaves have deteriorated allowing the rafters to be exposed.  The roof on the west-facing side supports a huge tarp covering holes from a recent storm.  The compromised roof has allowed rainwater to penetrate the building. Water damage is evident on the vinyl flooring tiles, baseboards, window ledges, and ceiling.  In the southeast corner, the foundation column is sinking, causing diagonal cracks in the stone. Deteriorated siding and rotting boards are visible on each façade.  The entire building --- inside and outside --- reveals exposed lead-based paint.  In addition to substandard structural conditions, building 553 has outdated and deficient plumbing and electrical systems that do not comply with current code requirements.

 

    NSA Mid-South has determined that building 553 is surplus to the mission and that its demolition represents the most prudent alternative available to the installation.  To mitigate the loss of this historic property, NSA Mid-South has agreed to post historical information about the residence on its public portal and erect a commemorative sign on the grounds.

   

    In the spirit of public participation, we invite you to submit questions or comments concerning this action to Mrs. Donna Covington, Architect/Architectural Historian at commercial phone (904) 542-6844 or email: donna.covington@navy.mil.  

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