Carl Small Town Center writes guidelines for downtown renovation

August 6th, 2018 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center writes guidelines for downtown renovation

Kemp

By Alex Holloway | Columbus Dispatch

The city of Starkville and the Carl Small Town Center are partnering to craft a set of guidelines to help preserve the character of the city’s downtown. 

Community Development Department Director Buddy Sanders said the process for the guidelines started about two-and-a-half years ago. 

“The historic preservation commission became concerned about possible redevelopments in the downtown area and the effect that a renovation may have on a downtown building losing the character of that historic property,” Sanders said. 

Commissioners reached out to then-Greater Starkville Development CEO Jennifer Gregory, who suggested creating a set of guidelines to offer for businesses looking to move into or renovate a building downtown.  

The city applied for a Certified Local Government grant through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. In June, the city received the grant, which will offer $6,500 in reimbursement for the $13,000 contract with the Carl Small Town Center, which aldermen approved at the most recent regular board meeting. The city is paying $3,250 of the contract’s cost, and the remaining $3,250 is covered through in-kind volunteer services from the center. 

Leah Kemp, director of the Carl Small Town Center, said the template is going to focus on exterior characteristics of the buildings. 

“We look at the height of the buildings, the character and the materiality,” she said. “We look at how they were made. The goal is to provide options so future development can not necessarily return things to the way they were, but make decisions in keeping with the character and scale of what is already there. 

“Sometimes in other cities, you can see bad examples of what not to do,” she added. “We are going to provide in our standards examples of what to do and what not to do.” 

Sanders said the guidelines will focus wholly on the outside of buildings. 

“A bright, canary yellow paint is not going to work on a 1910 building,” he said. 

Work has to be completed on the design guidelines by mid-September, and Sanders said he expects it to be finished before then, with the center already “moving quickly” on the work. 

He said the document will be strictly suggestive, rather than codified in an ordinance. Still, he said the center will likely present the document to the board of aldermen when it’s completed. 

“We were very open with the Carl Small Town Center that we wanted the document to be a template for other Mississippi cities,” Sanders said. 

Kemp said the work Starkville is doing could set a positive model for other communities. 

“The more progressive communities around the state are the ones who understand the value of preserving their identities,” she said. “Starkville is poised to grow a whole lot more, and the local board and mayor understand that and want to make sure they’re growing in a positive way. 

“I think Starkville has been charged with setting a sense of design excellence,” she later added. “This template will help set that standard of excellence so Starkville can be looked at as a place that sets a good example for other communities.”

Carl Small Town Center Director shows multi-modal interpretive trail to Martin Luther King III

May 30th, 2018 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center Director shows multi-modal interpretive trail to Martin Luther King III

Contributed to by Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Martin Luther King III visited Marks in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Marks Mule Train and his father’s Poor People’s Campaign for a week of events from May 7-13.

Mississippi State University Carl Small Town Center (CSTC) Director Leah Kemp was invited to the celebration to tour King through the multi-modal interpretive trail designed by the research center. The trail highlights the Marks Mule Train Civil Rights campaign, a vision of his father in the 1960s.

The Carl Small Town Center recently received two statewide awards for its “Marking the Mule” project, which focused on advancing citizen engagement in the Marks community – a 2017 Public Outreach Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association and an AIA Design Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

In July 2015, the CSTC was awarded a $25,000 Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to work with the community to vision a way to commemorate the historic civil rights campaign.

The yearlong public outreach campaign project engaged local residents, historians, architects and planners. The CSTC developed interpretive pedestrian and vehicle trails along with corresponding signage highlighting Civil Rights-related sites in Marks. They also designed a master plan for the designated Trailhead Park and built a welcome sign showing interactive maps for new trails.

Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the Carl Small Town Center’s namesake, is a Greenwood resident who founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

The Carl Small Town Center, a community design center at Mississippi State University within the School of Architecture, was founded in 1979 to help address issues faced by Mississippi’s small towns.

Read more about “Marking the Mule” and the Carl Small Town Center.

CREATE Common Ground course implements coursework in Ripley

May 23rd, 2018 Comments Off on CREATE Common Ground course implements coursework in Ripley

Students Rayce Belton (4th year architecture) and Shelby Jaco (3rd year architecture)

(left to right): Thomas Gregory (CSTC),  Rayce Belton (4th year architecture), Chris Marsalis (Mayor, City of Ripley), Shelby Jaco (3rd year architecture), and Silvina Lopez Barrera (Assistant Professor)

(via Assistant Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera)

This year, the CREATE Common Ground (ARC 4613) course explored tactical urbanism in downtown Ripley using short-term and low-cost design interventions with long-term lasting impact for the community.

On April 19students travelled to Ripley to implement  their final design. They collaborated with the local government and Ripley Main Street Association to activate an underutilized alleyway in downtown that connects the courthouse square and a parking lot. 

This service-learning course is the result of a partnership between the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University and the CREATE Foundation to address issues of urban development, historic preservation and transportation in communities in Northeast Mississippi.

Students: Nada Abdel-Aziz, Rayce Belton, and Shelby Jaco

Instructor: Silvina Lopez Barrera, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

Teaching Assistant: Thomas Gregory, Community Planner, CSTC

More photos from the project (via Thomas Gregory):

 

 

MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Gregory to lead statewide planning association

January 29th, 2018 Comments Off on MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Gregory to lead statewide planning association

By | Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State alumnus and community planner for the university’s Carl Small Town Center is beginning a new leadership role with the state’s professional organization for city planners.

Thomas R. Gregory III recently was elected to a one-year term as president-elect of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association. In January 2019, he will begin a two-year term as the organization’s president.

“It is an honor to be selected by my peers and colleagues across Mississippi to lead our state chapter,” Gregory said. “The work we do as planners is critical to the success of Mississippi’s communities, and I will work hard to promote our profession across the state.”

Gregory said he looks forward to collaborating with the executive team to update the chapter’s strategic plan and increase membership among planning professionals in Mississippi.

“I would also like to piggy-back on our national organization’s ‘Great Places’ initiative by creating a ‘Great Places in Mississippi’ program to recognize Mississippi communities that exemplify good planning,” Gregory added.

Prior to being named president-elect, Gregory served as APA Mississippi’s public information officer and conference committee chair. He currently serves the APA on a national level as a member of its leadership development taskforce.

Gregory, a native of Greenwood, is a 2005 MSU magna cum laude business administration, construction management and land development bachelor’s graduate who also minored in economics and political science. He returned to his alma mater during the 2017 fall semester after serving eight years as chief administrative officer for the City of Greenwood. There, he served on the board of directors for Main Street Greenwood, Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Boys and Girls Club and ArtPlace Mississippi.

A Master of City and Regional Planning graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gregory is licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of Congress for the New Urbanism, among other professional groups. He is a graduate of the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, Public Interest Design Institute and Leadership Mississippi.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the Carl Small Town Center is a statewide community design outreach program that was endowed in 2004 by MSU alumnus and major benefactor Fred E. Carl Jr. of Greenwood. For more on the college, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.orgor www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

See the story in the Mississippi Business Journal.

MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Ripley community project provides students with ‘real-world’ experience

December 13th, 2017 Comments Off on MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Ripley community project provides students with ‘real-world’ experience

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center collaborated with fall-semester fourth-year students in the university’s School of Architecture to develop a master plan for the 50-acre First Monday Trade Days and Flea Market site in Ripley. Pictured during a recent presentation to Ripley stakeholders are, from left to right, MSU senior architecture majors Asher E. Paxton of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Matthew T. Lewis of Brandon, MSU School of Architecture Director and F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, and Mitchell D. Hubbell of Pensacola, Florida. (Photo by Russ Houston)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center has collaborated with students in the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design to reimagine a popular site in Ripley as part of a proposed master plan for the Tippah County town.

Director Leah F. Kemp said the CSTC began work on the Ripley master plan this past August. For the project, the center solicited help from MSU Assistant Professor Fred Esenwein’s fourth-year architecture studio class to generate ideas for the 50-acre First Monday Trade Days and Flea Market site in Ripley.

Throughout the fall semester, Esenwein’s students worked in groups to develop a master plan featuring cohesive structures for the site, which has brought together craftsmen, artists, farmers, ranchers and other community members for more than 120 years. Ripley residents and CSTC staff also provided feedback to students over the course of the project.

Kemp said the architecture students received words of praise while recently presenting their completed projects to Ripley stakeholders at the Carl Small Town Center in MSU’s Giles Hall. The center will incorporate the students’ design recommendations into a master plan fostering economic growth and community development in Ripley and Tippah County as a whole.

“The Carl Small Town Center is a valuable resource for the School of Architecture as it provides a meaningful way to link students to communities and their needs,” Kemp said. “It also provides students with the opportunity to engage in public interest design.”

Asher Paxton, a senior architecture major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was among students who participated in the CSTC project. He enjoyed interacting with Ripley residents and stakeholders on-site, as well as during their recent visit to the Starkville campus.

“For us architecture students, having the clients come to our fourth-year studio review to critique our work was super beneficial,” Paxton said. “It helped us think about the site in a real-world way.”

Greenwood resident Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the Carl Small Town Center’s namesake, founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

For more on the College of Architecture, Art and Design, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.org or www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

 
 

Architecture students present fall 2017 Final Reviews

December 11th, 2017 Comments Off on Architecture students present fall 2017 Final Reviews

Thurs., Nov. 16 and Fri. Nov. 17 – Fifth-Year Reviews
Jackson Urban projects

Mon., Nov. 20 – First-Year Reviews
Foundational intervention (3 media: wood; metal; casting)

Mon., Nov. 27 – Second-Year Reviews
Collaborative Studio w/ BCS   ‘Quaker Meeting House’

Tues., Nov. 28 – Third-Year Reviews
‘Urban Chicago medium density Housing’

Wed., Nov. 29 – Fourth-Year Reviews

Studio 1: Mass Timber Office Bldg in Jackson

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

Studio 2: Ripley MS Master Planning w/ CSTC

 

Carl Small Town Center at MSU receives public outreach, design honors for ‘Marking the Mule’ project

November 19th, 2017 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center at MSU receives public outreach, design honors for ‘Marking the Mule’ project

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center is receiving two statewide awards for its “Marking the Mule” project focused on advancing citizen engagement in the Marks community.

On the university’s behalf, CSTC Director Leah F. Kemp recently accepted a 2017 Public Outreach Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association at its joint conference with the national APA organization in Birmingham, Alabama. The award recognizes an individual or program that uses information and education to raise awareness about the value of planning among communities and locales. Award criteria include innovation, comprehensiveness, holistic approach, transferability, quality, implementation and technology use. 

The project also received an AIA Design Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects during the organization’s recent Public, Design, Community and Membership Awards Celebration at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.

In July 2015, MSU’s Carl Small Town Center was awarded a $25,000 Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to create a trail and make plans for an interpretive center that tells the story of a 1968 Mule Train, a program of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign.”

The yearlong public outreach campaign project engaged local residents, historians, architects, planners and state tourism and historic preservation officials. The integrated planning process created a vision for a cultural trail and interpretive center focused on events surrounding the Mule Train.

Documentation of oral histories, outreach at a local blues festival, a hands-on design charrette and multiple feedback loops culminated in the design of an interpretive center and trail, as well as construction of a trailhead marker doubling as a welcome sign at the intersection of Mississippi Highway 6/U.S. Highway 278 and M.L.K. Jr. Drive in Marks.

Kemp said the “Marking the Mule” project gave the Carl Small Town Center and Marks residents the opportunity to have a meaningful impact through the development of a tangible project in the Quitman County community.

“At the Carl Small Town Center, we truly enjoy engaging with communities to find the best solutions to their challenges,” Kemp said. “In the form of multimodal trails, we were able to address tourism and health and wellness, promote historical significance, and provide entryway signage for the Marks community. The resulting awards our center has received are a reflection of this successful project and partnership.”

Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the Carl Small Town Center’s namesake, is a Greenwood resident who founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

For more on the College of Architecture, Art and Design, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.org or www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

Read about it in The Clarion Ledger.

See the article in the Mississippi Business Journal.

School of Architecture hosts Advisory Board for fall 2017 meeting

October 12th, 2017 Comments Off on School of Architecture hosts Advisory Board for fall 2017 meeting

The Mississippi State University School of Architecture Advisory Board met on Mon., Oct. 10, in the Hunter Henry Center on campus in Starkville.

After the business meeting, the group was invited to an open house event at the Carl Small Town Center to meet with the new director Leah Kemp and see exhibits of current work.

A reception was held following the open house for the current exhibition on display in the Giles Gallery, “Bridges of Touchstone,” featuring work by alumnus and board member Bradley Touchstone’s firm.

(photos by Kelsey Brownlee)

Carl Small Town Center director discusses city planning in Mississippi on SuperTalk Radio

August 10th, 2017 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center director discusses city planning in Mississippi on SuperTalk Radio

(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Leah Kemp, director of the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University, was a part of “Good things with Rebecca Turner” on Mississippi’s SuperTalk Radio yesterday [Aug. 9] at 2:20.

Kemp discussed city planning for towns and cities across the Magnolia State.
 
Also a part of the discussion was Scott Hummel, executive vice president and provost of William Carey University, discussing the rebuilding that has taken place on campus following a January tornado.

Listen to the recording here.

Established in 1979, the Carl Small Town Center seeks to initiate theoretical and applied research and to serve as a national focus for the collection, storage, dissemination and application of information pertinent to issues of special interest in small towns. Activities include graphic and photographic documentation and computer imaging of the small town scene. The CSTC has participated in design case studies, environmental impact studies, and economic and marketing analyses. It provides research and service assistance to towns through the redevelopment of downtowns and the implementation of other comparable community improvement initiatives. Assistance projects include community design and improvement, economic diversification, town planning, conservation of architectural and historic resources, affordable housing design and technology, and other activities that affect quality of life in the community.

The center’s motto is, “We are advocates of meaningful design for small towns… and towns that wish they were!”

Fred Carl Jr. featured in Mississippi Business Journal

June 2nd, 2017 Comments Off on Fred Carl Jr. featured in Mississippi Business Journal

via msbusiness.com

Fred Carl goes small with latest venture

By JACK WEATHERLY | Mississippi Business Journal

It is a market he helped to create.

Appointed by then-Gov. Haley Barbour as housing commissioner for Gulf Coast rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Fred Carl Jr. oversaw the designing and building of cottages in a traditional style as a better alternative to trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Association.

The so-called Katrina cottages contributed to the “tiny house” trend.

Now in a crowded field – with cable television shows and magazines touting the little spaces – Carl believes he has found a niche.

Carl founded in the mid-’80s Viking Range, maker of one of the premier brands of residential cook stoves and other appliances.

He and other investors sold the Greenwood-based company to Middleby Corp. of Elgin, Ill., in 2013 for $380 million. Middleby sued the owners in 2015 for $100 million in a case that is still pending.

Now he has launched an equally upscale line of small dwellings.

Carl announced his new company, C3 Design Inc., two years ago. Carl said he would build what he called “modular” homes.

Instead Carl has introduced its first product line, the Retreat Series. Looking for all the world like houses, they are technically recreational vehicles, according to the company’s website, C3spaces.com, which was launched last week.

They are small, no more than 399 square feet not including the porch, which adds another 120 square feet.

Yet they are not really tiny houses in the usual sense.

Classified as “park models,” they are built “in compliance with Standard A119.5 of the American National Standards Institute,” the website states.

The website puts some space between the Retreat Series and tiny houses.

“There is no code or standard governing the design or construction of ‘tiny houses’ mounted on wheels, nor is there an established definition or specification for ‘tiny houses,’” the website says.

Chris Galusha, president of the all-volunteer American Tiny House Association, confirmed that there is indeed no such category.

Galusha said in an interview, however, that the International Code Council will include an appendix in the 2018 edition in the International Residential Code that will define a tiny home as any site-built home that’s less than 400 square feet of “habitable space,” excluding bathrooms and closets, Galusha said.

ANSI 119.5 is for part-time and recreational use, Galusha said. And something built to that standard, with third-party inspection and certification qualifies for insurance.

The Foremost Insurance Group, for example, does insure temporary homes, such as built by C3 Design, as well as modular and manufactured homes, which are considered permanent, said Chad Seabrook, owner of Chad Seabrook Insurance Agency in Ridgeland.

And it can insure tiny homes, he said.

The C3 website states that its park models are designed for temporary recreational use and for moving from one site to another. That means that insurance is generally cheaper for them than for fixed-place shelters, Seabrook said.

But the Retreat Series comes with a hefty price tag.

They start in the “mid-50s,” said Jane Crump, director of public relations and communications for the Greenwood-based manufacturer.

Looking at the price by square foot is the wrong way to price the units, Crump said. “It’s a lifestyle item,” she said.

“They’re definitely an upscale purchase,” Crump said, “for people with discretionary income.”

Standard features in the one-bedroom dwellings are a bathroom and a combined living and kitchen area and stainless-steel appliances and heating and cooling units. Upgrades are possible, such as quartz or granite countertops.

Crump said the company is in the early stages of distribution.

About a dozen have been sold, Crump said. The company has about a half-dozen for sale in Greenwood and Starkville.

Otherwise, they are built when ordered, she said.

“It’s a very measured process . . . to build a business from the ground up,” she said.

Crump would not discuss what C3 Designs future plans might be.

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