Midway Hotel

A portion of Walthall Street, from Carrollton Avenue to Pearl street, has been closed off for several months due to fears that the east side of the Midway Hotel could cascade and endanger pedestrians and passing cars.

The city of Greenwood and the owner of the Midway Hotel may soon go to court regarding the dilapidated building’s status.

Though the City Council voted in June to demolish the historic hotel on Carrollton Avenue, the process has been stalled after the owner, Larry “Blue” Neal, filed an appeal.

A Leflore County Circuit Court hearing is planned before Judge Carol-White Richard of Greenville.

An exact date for the hearing has not yet been set, according to Mayor Carolyn McAdams. “We have some court dates to choose from. Neal has to agree on one of the court dates. He’ll get a letter (from the city) and has to confirm one of these dates with Don Brock, the city attorney.”

According to McAdams, White-Richard offered possible hearing dates in late January and early February. The hearing will “let both sides tell their story and the judge will deem what’s necessary for the city or for Larry ‘Blue’ Neal” to act on, McAdams said.

Mark Watson, a Tupelo structural engineer hired by the city, examined the hotel and the nearby Juchheim Wagon Works building in April.

He described the hotel as unrepairable in a report. “It’s in very poor shape,” McAdams said of Watson’s findings.

A portion of Walthall Street, from Carrollton Avenue to Pearl Street, which runs along the east side of the hotel, has been closed off since April due to fears that the wall could cascade and endanger passing cars and pedestrians.

The council requested that Neal, who has countered that the building is safe and sound, give a copy of his structural engineer’s report of the building to the council.

Instead Neal brought a contractor he intended to hire, Kevin Reed of Reed Construction in Jackson, to tell the council of their plan to renovate the old hotel into a home for veterans.

Neal could not be reached for comment Friday.

During its prime, in the mid-20th century, the Midway not only operated as a 57-room hotel but also housed barber and beauty shops, men’s and women’s clothing stores, as well as a restaurant and a bar.

The structures connected to the Midway are 223 and 225 Carrollton Ave., owned by Artemis Taylor LLC, and 231 Carrollton Ave., owned by the Thomas Earp estate.

• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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