Planning Moves Ahead for Stuart Center

Philadelphia, Miss. Work has begun in Neshoba County to convert a building for storage of Marty Stuart's extensive country memorabilia collection. Items will be placed in the former Coca Cola building in downtown Philadelphia.

The goal is to one day have a Marty Stuart Center and Congress of Country Music Hall located there, a combination of museum, theater, and classroom space.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the day will come when a ribbon will be cut and the doors of this center will be open to the world," said Stuart. "I will count it a joy when Philadelphia takes its rightful place along side of the other Mississippi towns on the museum trail; opening day will be a great day."

A $1 million grant was committed to the project by the state of Mississippi in 2013. Officials say the Mississippi Legislature also approved an additional $500,000 for the project last week.

Architect Skip Wyatt was retained by Neshoba County to perform design work for the storage facility renovation as well as for the museum project, for which a specific site is still being discussed.

Planning for the project continues, but officials say the receipt of monies from the state is a major first step in an investment in bringing the attraction to downtown Philadelphia.

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