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Rebuilding the past
Historic Neshoba County Courthouse undergoes renovations

By Staff
QUITE A VIEW Andrea Mitchell, manager of Faulkenberry's Bridal, adjusts a mannequin's dress while talking on the phone to a customer. The historic Neshoba County Courthouse, which is undergoing a major $3.6 million renovation, is visible through the store window. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Sept. 14, 2003
The one thing that Steve Wilkerson wanted to do when he was a child was hang out on the lawn of the Neshoba County Courthouse.
Today, Wilkerson has a perfect view of the courthouse lawn from the downtown Philadelphia business he has owned for 20 years Steve's on the Square, a men's clothing store.
Steve's is one of several businesses that surround the courthouse. And many of them also have a view of the courthouse, as well as $3.6 million in renovations that are currently under way.
Renovations begin
Courthouse renovations began in August 2002 with the remodeling of former retail space across the street from the west side of the building. The new Neshoba County Courthouse Annex already houses Justice Court.
In December 2002, all other offices left the main courthouse building so renovations could begin there.
Built in 1928
The Neshoba County Courthouse was built in 1928 and is the third structure to sit on the spot in the center of downtown Philadelphia. The courthouse is on the Mississippi Landmark Register.
The building underwent several additions and renovations, most recently in the early 1980s when central heat and air were installed.
Plans are for the courthouse to be finished by the end of the year.
Business support
Many business owners around the Philadelphia Square support the renovation.
Yates is a third-generation owner of the downtown business. His grandfather and great-uncle opened Yates Drug Store in the same spot in 1905. Yates renovated the space last year and converted it to a deli.
Coats said he wants Neshoba County residents to know the courthouse building is for them.