VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Vicksburg had a scare in the late 1980s and 1990s when an entire city block was up for sale.

On this block was the old Sisters of Mercy convent and school complex. I heard people talking that the whole thing might become just an asphalt parking lot. I don’t know whether it could or couldn’t, but it didn’t. It is now the Southern Cultural Heritage Center and is a valuable asset to Vicksburg.

Another more modern piece of architecture in Vicksburg has had a similar refurbishing recently. The old Harrah’s Casino downtown closed awhile back. After a little uncertainty, it is now the Mulberry; a shining asset to the Washington Avenue/River Front district of Vicksburg.

“I think the biggest thing for us was we saw an opportunity in the emerging, continuation of the development of downtown Vicksburg,” said Scott Sledge, one of the developers.

The Mulberry has appealing rooms, comfortable common areas and an art gallery.

Paula Jackson, who has Jackson Street Gallery in Ridgeland, now commutes to The Mulberry a couple of times a week to oversee her gallery there. 

“And the whole city of Vicksburg is so involved with making Vicksburg another destination spot,” said Jackson.

Lenore Barkley was tourism director for Vicksburg for years. Now, she is an artist with her work in the gallery, and she sees The Mulberry and Paula’s art gallery as a hand in glove fit for what’s going on in downtown Vicksburg.

“There are new merchants coming in. As soon as a building is empty, it’s sold and something else is moving in. I believe it’s more vibrant that it’s been even when I was in tourism,” said Barkley.