July 16th, 2015 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center receives arts grant for Marks project
By Zach Plair | Mississippi State University
The Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State is receiving a $25,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant to develop a cultural master plan for a North Delta community.
To feature an interpretive trail and center for the city of Marks, the university-developed plan will highlight and explain civil-rights related sites in the Quitman County seat and beginning point of the historic 1968 Poor People’s Campaign “Mule Train.”
Organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference–whose first president was Martin Luther King Jr.–the campaign featured a mule-pulled wagon train that began in Marks and ended in Washington, D.C. In the nation’s capital, the slow-moving travelers eventually joined 3,000 others from throughout the nation assembled at “Resurrection City,” a massive tent camp set up on the Washington Mall.
The D.C. event was a protest against living conditions faced by poor in the U.S. King twice had visited Marks and held it up as a symbol of America’s downtrodden.
“The Mule Train was really the start of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968,” said associate professor John Poros, the MSU center’s director. “We are honored to be able to help the people of Marks make this piece of their history visible and present to visitors and community members through the NEA Our Town award.”
Now in its fifth year of funding Our Town projects, the independent federal agency this year is awarding 69 grants that total almost $5 million. The individual awards range from $25,000 to $200,000.
The grant program supports creative place-making projects designed to promote local community art and creativity. Since the program’s inception in 2011, NEA has awarded 325 Our Town grants totaling nearly $26 million.
“The Carl Small Town Center demonstrates the best in creative community development. This work will have a valuable impact on its community,” Jane Chu, NEA chairman, said.
“Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike,” she added.
A research and service arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture, the Carl Small Town Center works to help improve the quality of life and create economic opportunity in small towns by improving their physical environments.
Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the 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 the university, he endowed a statewide community design outreach program in 1979 that was renamed in his honor.
See the story on WTVA.com.
April 13th, 2015 Comments Off on CAAD research center director has book chapter republished
Associate Professor John Poros, director of the Carl Small Town Center (CSTC), recently had a chapter re-published in the two-volume book, Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future.
Vol. 1: Antiquity to the 1500s
Vol. 2: The 1950s and the Future
Poros’ chapter, “The Ruled Geometries of Marcel Breuer,”provides an important contribution to this research archive that highlights the diverse relationships between the disciplines of mathematics and architecture through the century.
April 10th, 2015 Comments Off on Grants help ‘Audit Squad’ get started
Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)
Students testing air infiltration rates of a 20K House at Auburn University’s Rural Studio. They also demonstrated how to use the equipment.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)
Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)
Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)
Emily McGlohn has been experimenting with ways to introduce one of her research interests, the relationship between energy efficiency and the quality of construction, into the MSU’s School of Architecture curriculum while helping out the state at the same time.
“Building performance is easily tested with building diagnostic tools such as a blower door and thermal imaging camera,” said McGlohn.
So, the assistant professor used funds from her 2014 Schillig Grant, which she received for teaching excellence, to purchase the necessary testing equipment, and she secured a $500 Center for the Advancement of Service Learning Excellence (CASLE) mini grant to support travel.
McGlohn started an independent study course and recruited students interested in the topic. “The Audit Squad,” as she has dubbed the group, has been working this year to collect and analyze data.
In the fall, the Audit Squad – which includes Ria Bennet, third-year architecture major; Cody Smith, fourth-year architecture major; and Bill Plot, fourth-year building construction science major – traveled to Greenwood to test air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood.
“The best way to understand how a building performs is to actually test it with tools,” said McGlohn, who explained that the lower the air infiltration rate, the better the envelope. “A high air infiltration rate signifies a leaky building.”
The group also paid a visit to the Auburn University’s Rural Studio to perform tests on some of their projects. While at the Rural Studio, McGlohn presented a lecture on air infiltration, and her Audit Squad shared what they had learned.
“The students loved it,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
After analyzing their results, the squad began working on their own independent research project, which they have submitted to the upcoming MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. They used the newly purchased tools to test the air infiltration rates of a variety of student rental properties built in Starkville over the last 40 years to see if age has anything to do with the rates.
This summer, the research will continue in Greenwood.
Teaming up with the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Enterprise Rose Fellow, Emily Roush Elliott, the Audit Squad will test the air infiltration rates of a variety of low-income housing in the Greenwood area to compare the typical rental property with more modern low-incoming housing.
The data will be analyzed next fall to try to quantify the monetary and health burdens that can come from leaky, low-income housing. The findings and suggestions for improvement will be shared in a brochure for distribution to nonprofit organizations that could benefit from the data.
“The overall main goal,” said McGlohn, “is to create a baseline metric of energy efficiency rates for low-income housing in the Mississippi Delta.”
February 24th, 2015 Comments Off on WCBI features Carl Small Town Center workshop
The Carl Small Town Center, one of two research centers housed in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, hosted the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design workshop in Houston, Miss., from February 22-24.
The main goal of the workshop was to create plans to lead visitors from the Tanglefoot Trail to Houston’s downtown area and to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.
January 30th, 2015 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center featured in Tupelo’s Daily Journal
Corinth tourism wants downtown boutique hotel
By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – Corinth tourism officials want to spark interest in building a boutique hotel downtown, and the Mississippi State University Carl Small Town Center is doing the groundwork.
Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Christy Burns and tourism council president Russell Smith met this week with MSU School of Architecture student Hannah Waycaster and Carl Small Town Center Director John Poros to review the feasibility study for the project.
“It’s been a problem for us for a long time that Corinth doesn’t have enough hotel rooms,” Smith said.
At times like the mid-March weekend when Corinth hosts a popular Bible conference at a local church and a state gymnastics meet at the Crossroads Arena, Corinth hotels are fully booked and some people who plan to attend must stay in hotels in nearby cities, he said.
The proposal Waycaster and Poros presented was developed with the help of a professor in the university’s real estate department.
It outlines a 49-room hotel to be built on one of several available properties in downtown Corinth that the team scouted. Those properties range in size from a few thousand square feet, requiring the hotel to be built vertically with several stories, to as large as more than 35,000 square feet.
“I stayed at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood for the Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference, and I think something like that could work in Corinth,” Burns said.
The Alluvian is described as “a cosmopolitan boutique hotel in the heart of the Mississippi Delta,” and is situated across the street from the Viking Cooking School, which attracts visitors worldwide.
“Our hotels seem to be booked Mondays through Wednesdays,” Burns said, “but we’re trying to help sell weekends. For group tours a boutique hotel might be a target for that, or something like a girls’ weekend.”
Waycaster, under Poros’ direction, has developed several community improvement projects in Corinth, including a recently completed pocket park at the corner of Wick and Franklin streets, and a proposal for renovations at Crossroads Regional Park. A $40,000 grant from the Pierce Foundation – $10,000 a year for four years – is being used to support these projects.
Waycaster’s next step is to create a schematic design for the hotel, using a 20,000-square-foot lot to create the footprint for the design. She expects to have a design to present by early summer.
“This work will show prospective builders the feasibility of the project, but they would need to use their own people to decide on going forward with it,” Poros said.
January 13th, 2015 Comments Off on Panelists named for upcoming Houston rural design workshop
Four panelists have been selected from across the country to serve as resource team experts for the upcoming Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design workshop in Houston, Miss., from February 22-24.
- Andrew Barresi of Massachusetts, principal at Roll Baressi & Associates, will serve as graphic designer for wayfinding and signage around the community.
- Heather Deutsch of Washington, D.C., sustainable transportation planner at Toole Design Group, will serve as cycling advocate and Rails-to_Trails expert.
- Keith Holt of Wisconsin, southeast region director at Wisconsin Bicycle Federation, will serve as the project’s community engagement specialist and bicycle advocate.
- Brice Maryman, ASLA, PLA, CPSI, LEED AP, of Washington, landscape architect and lecturer at the University of Washington, will serve as the landscape architect for the project.
Houston was one of just four communities nationwide to receive a 2014 CIRD Award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award will fund the upcoming workshop, which will serve to gather ideas from the Houston community and its leaders about the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston. Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, a cycling/pedestrian pathway that runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc and Chickasaw County.
The Carl Small Town Center, one of two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design, will host the workshop, which has the main goal of creating plans to lead visitors from the Tanglefoot Trail to Houston’s downtown area and to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.
“We are excited to have this esteemed group of experts to help Houston realize its potential at the trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “Each of these resource team members will provide a skill-set that will be beneficial to help envision and design a great place for Houston.”
The free workshop, open to the Houston community, will kick off with an event in the afternoon on Sun., Feb. 22, at the Houston Trailhead. The remainder of the workshop will take place at the Houston Civic Center.
- Andrew Barresi is in charge of the overall management of Roll Barresi & Associates and directs the firm’s design efforts. He has served as project manager for sign and wayfinding programs for Johns Hopkins University, the City of Newport, Duke University, Peabody Essex Museum, The Arnold Arboretum and Harvard Business School. He is an honors graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology (civil engineering, 1987) and Massachusetts College of Art (graphic design, 1997). He previously served as graphics coordinator for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, responsible for the design of graphic systems for the Authority in metropolitan Boston and surrounding cities and towns. He also managed the MBTA’s public arts program, “Arts on the Line” and ADA accessibility standards. Barresi’s work on the city of Newport sign program has received an Annual Design Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Designers. His work has been published in SEGD Design and Architectural Record.
- Heather Deutsch has worked on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects for the past ten years for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C.’s Department of Transportation and most recently Toole Design Group. In addition to providing design assistance on hundreds of private and public transportation and public space plans, she has managed trail projects from land acquisition to design and on to construction. At the Rails-to-Trails Conversancy, Deutsch led a team that provided legal, acquisition, economic and design assistance to municipalities throughout the U.S. Previous urban planning work focused on under-served communities in redeveloping historic neighborhoods. Deutsch holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Math, Science and Philosophy. She has traveled to 35 countries and bicycled across the country at the age of 13.
- Keith Holt has worked for more than five years for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (now Active Transportation Alliance). In that role, he served in a community liaison capacity, developing and maintaining relationships with the African-American communities throughout Chicago and working to gain support for the organizations’ programs in those areas. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2007, he has brought his personal mission to the neighborhood where he lives and continues with the formation of Milwaukee Bicycle Works. He also serves on several board and committees. He is chairman of Milwaukee Bike Ped Task Force, serves on the Washington Park Partners Steering Committee and is a board member for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. His specialties include urban trails and greenways, livable communities, cycling advocacy, event coordination/facilitation, youth development, bicycling in communities of color and urban built environment.
- Brice Maryman is an award-winning landscape architect at SvR Design Company in Seattle. Whether working on children’s playgrounds or public streetscapes, he is passionately concerned with the vitality and health of natural and cultural ecosystems. In addition to his work at SvR, he currently serves in a leadership role on the board of Seattle Parks Commissioners. He co-founded the University of Washington’s Urban Green Infrastructure Certificate Program and co-directed the ASLA award-winning Open Space Seattle 2100 project with Nancy Rottle. Maryman has been involved with several local organizations including the Great City, the Arboretum Foundation and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks. This involvement continues his deep commitment to balancing environmental and cultural values within the urban environment. He recently served as chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for Planning and Design for the STAR Community Index.
The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces Inc. along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. Established in 1991, CIRD has convened more than 60 rural design workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets in order to build better places to live, work, and play. For more information visit www.rural-design.org.
Watch the video on WCBI
Read more about the Houston’s Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award on Mississippi State University’s Website.
2014 Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award recipients
For more about the Carl Small Town Center, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.
The MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design is online at caad.msstate.edu.
Read the story on MSU’s website and at WCBI.com.
November 20th, 2014 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center’s Tanglefoot Trail project featured on WCBI
They gathered at the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston, near what is left of the old depot. A mix of community leaders, economic development officials and specialists in rural design, to talk about how the trail can serve the community.
“The hard work is done, the trail is here, it’s great, people are using it, but now we kind of look at, ok, how do we make this even better?” said Cynthia Nikitin, who is with the Citizens Institute on Rural Design, which picked Houston as one of four towns nationwide to help develop a plan to maximize public spaces.
There are many possibilities for development along Houston’s portion of the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail which runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc into Chickasaw County. Options including recreation facilities, public spaces or other community amenities.
One of the main goals is to get visitors from the trailhead to the downtown area. A workshop set for early next year will look at ways to do just that.
MSU students from the Carl Small Town Center will help organize the workshop and will help implement ideas.
“It’s a really wonderful opportunity for them, it’s a real world project that they get to be involved in, they get to see first hand how to interact with community members and produce great results,” said Leah Kemp from the Carl Small Town Center.
Economic development officials say having a plan to draw more people to the trail and the community will benefit everyone.
“We want to develop further businesses, we want to develop the landscapes, so people are attracted into this community, it has much much potential,” said John Walden, chairman of the Chickasaw Development Foundation.
Once plans are finalized, experts will look at options to pay for the projects.
The workshop to gather ideas for development along the Tanglefoot Trail in Houston is set for mid February.
November 6th, 2014 Comments Off on CAAD research centers receive AIA/MS 2014 Design Awards
Women in Construction Training Center (GCCDS)
Baptist Town Master Plan (CSTC)
On October 16, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Mississippi) hosted a Design Awards Celebration in Jackson to honor recipients of its Design Awards and Member Awards, as well as newly licensed architects, landscape architects and interior designers in the state.
The two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design both were honored at the event.
The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) received an Honor Award in the Architecture/New Construction category for the Women in Construction Training Center for the Moore Community House.
Women in Construction is an organization that trains and assists women to get jobs in construction-related fields. Over the years Women in Construction has been a partner with the GCCDS on many projects for homeowners and for the community.
David Perkes, director of the GCCDS said, “It was especially rewarding to work with them to create a work space that embodies their ‘can-do’ culture. Building the project was as important as getting it built, and the completed building is a testament of the capability of the women students, staff and volunteers.”
The Carl Small Town Center (CSTC) received a Citation Award in the Master Planning and Urban Design Category for the Baptist Town Master Plan for the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation.
“The award for the Baptist Town Master Plan reaffirms the longterm effort the CSTC has made in its commitment to Greenwood and the Baptist Town neighborhood,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “We are starting to see these master plan elements come to life as recent housing has been installed and the community center is under renovation.”
“It is a testament to the School of Architecture’s commitment to ‘community design’ and ‘social justice’ when our research centers are recognized for their amazing outreach work with Design Awards from the AIA Mississippi Chapter,” said Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “The work that our centers produce is nothing short of heroic — and the impacts to the communities will be felt for generations.”
The AIA Mississippi Design Awards program is part of the annual program of events, Mississippi Celebrates Architecture, presented by AIA Mississippi. The goal of the program, which also features an Educational Symposium and a Public Outreach and Exhibition, is to promote and celebrate the role of architecture in Mississippi’s culture. The Design Awards program further seeks to encourages design excellence and elevate the quality of architecture and design in the state by recognizing and honoring members’ works of distinction.
Read the story on the MSU website.
Several alumni and friends of the School of Architecture were also honored at the event. See the full list of AIA/MS 2014 Design Awards below.
• Albert & Associates Architects, P.A.
Charnley-Norwood House Restoration
Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources
& Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History
• Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects & Engineers, PA
Puckett Machinery Headquarters
• Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Women in Construction Training Center
Moore Community House
• JBHM Architecture
Tupelo Aquatics Center
City of Tupelo
• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
James H. White Library Renovation
Mississippi Valley State University
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi
• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
Mississippi Dept. of Information Technology Services
Cooperative Data Center
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi
• unabridged Architecture
Waveland Business Center
City of Waveland
• WFT Architects, P.A.
Rehabilitation of the Medgar Evers House Museum
• WFT Architects, P.A.
Exterior Rehabilitation of the John W. Boddie House
(The Mansion), Phase II
• Carl Small Town Center
(Master Planning Urban Design)
Baptist Town Master Plan
Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation
• Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
Delta Blues Museum Muddy Waters Addition
Delta Blues Museum
October 24th, 2014 Comments Off on MSU’s Carl Small Town Center to receive CIRD workshop funding
Via Leah Barbour | MSU Public Affairs
When Chickasaw County community leaders contacted Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center, they wanted to discuss ways to connect the Tanglefoot Trail to downtown Houston and the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The CSTC is the service and research arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, and the center works with officials, citizens and organizations to improve quality of life in towns throughout the Magnolia State, said Leah Kemp, CSTC assistant director.
Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, she explained. At present, the end of the 44-mile, rails-to-trails cycling/pedestrian pathway is a vacant lot, but Houston leaders want to change that.
“There is currently no way for cyclists to get from the trail to the nearby downtown or the Trace,” Kemp said.
CSTC leaders chose to apply for a competitive Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshop funding, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, because connecting Houston’s tourist attractions should boost tourism and benefit neighborhoods, Kemp said. In late July, the CSTC learned Houston was one of only four communities in the nation to receive the award, which will enable CSTC to host a rural design technical workshop this fall for the town.
“We and our partners in Houston recognize that this area has wonderful potential; we also recognize that this CIRD program will provide the necessary expertise that Houston needs,” she said.
The CIRD funding will fund a two-and-a-half day workshop in Houston, with CIRD providing design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000, according to CIRD officials. The CSTC-Houston team will receive additional training, both before and after the workshop, through conference calls, webinars and other web-based resources. Topics include community engagement, rural design, partnership development and workshop planning.
CIRD is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative that collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Project for Public Spaces, Inc.; the Orton Family Foundation; and the CommunityMatters Partnership to sponsor design experts’ work in rural communities.
To qualify for the CIRD funding, towns must have populations fewer than 50,000; only two towns and two counties were selected. The Mississippi community is the only one in the Southeast, and it’s the smallest–only 3,562 residents. Other funding recipients are located in Franklin, New Hampshire; Oregon County, Missouri; and Lancaster County, Nebraska.
“The selected communities demonstrate rich potential for leveraging partnerships to take action on a wide range of rural design issues,” said Cynthia Nikitin, CIRD program director and senior vice president of project for Public Spaces, Inc. “Rural design is a valuable tool for citizens to use to build on existing assets and improve their community’s quality of life and long-term viability.
“The workshop will provide national experts in design-related fields that can help develop a tangible vision for how to connect the trail to the downtown, as well as provide a way that Houston can bring economic development to its town by capitalizing on the trail.”
For more information about the CSTC, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.
Learn more about CIRD at www.rural-design.org.
April 4th, 2014 Comments Off on Painting the town in New Houlka: School of Architecture featured on WTVA
See this story and more at WTVA.com
NEW HOULKA (WTVA) — MSU architectural professor Emily Roush Eliott and her student Katherine Ernst are on their way to making the square around the New Houlka City Hall just a little bit brighter.
“I’m really excited about it because we have worked really hard on this,” said Ernst.
She’s excited because she is putting into practice what she has learned in class at Mississippi State.
Her professor is not there to just watch, she’s working too.
They are practicing what’s called public interest architecture.
They’ve chosen New Houlka to create a bike path around the town that leads from the increasingly popular Tanglefoot
“The big need that we heard was that the community of New Houlka wants more people, more activity, more business downtown, ” said Eliott.” As a group of architecture students and professors, we’re not going to open a new restaurant. But what we can do is try to help attract people,” she continued.
And it appears they’ve come up with a way to do just that.
“Now we are at the very beginning phase of a bike path because we wanted to start with the Tanglefoot and then bring a path that runs all around the square,” said Ernst.
They presented their idea to city leaders who welcomed them with open arms.
“The yellow part going around the trail is for bikes,” explained New Houlka Mayor Jimmy Kelly. “And then the white is for walking people who are walking around the trail. And then every so often, there will be circles, little signs pointing out things in town like an ice cream parlor,” he concluded.
As you might imagine, officials here in New Houlka are thrilled with the project saying that it will only enhance what has been a good thing for the City and that is the Tanglefoot Trail.
“I’ve heard from the people of Houlka that its been so busy. I heard that last Saturday the deli that opened just next to the Trail sold out completely,” the MSU professor said, smiling.
“The Trail has been more of a draw than I though it would be when we first started talking about it,” said Kelly.
The “Paint the Square Project” is expected to be done by the end of April and is a project of the Create Foundation’s Create Class program.
It is also supported by the MSU College of Art, Architecture and Design as well as the Greenwood-Leflore Economic Development Foundation.