“Downtown Fondren” Now Listed on National Register of Historic Places
The “Downtown Fondren Historic District, roughly along North State Street, Old Canton Road, Duling Avenue & Fondren Place,” has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service, the administrator of the register, made the designation effective on September 10, 2014.
Jason Watkins, a majority partner in the Whitney Place Development Corporation, along with partner David Pharr, funded the process.
Part of the designation, Watkins said, was to give thought to an overall plan for Fondren, to recognize the architectural and historic value of the downtown district. “The other part,” he added, “is a marketing component that gives us a legitimate historic district.”
Jim Wilkirson, executive director of Fondren Renaissance, the non-profit organization whose mission it is to empower the efforts of those like Watkins and Pharr, applauds the news. “The work that Jason and David have put into this process goes to show that we are a neighborhood that, together, accomplishes big things,” Wilkirson said. “The entire business district will benefit from it and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”