THE DAILY LEADER / RACEHL EIDE / John Lynch looks out over Railroad Avenue from the balcony of The Crossing last week.
THE DAILY LEADER / RACEHL EIDE / John Lynch looks out over Railroad Avenue from the balcony of The Crossing last week.

Historic building gets new life

Published 11:30pm Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Crossing events center mixes old and new and is situated in the latest downtown Brookhaven building to be given a new lease on life.

Building owner John Lynch, who also owns The Inez, said he was approached by the Samuels family about purchasing the building at 107 S. Railroad Ave. that now is home to The Crossing. He jumped at the opportunity to refurbish a piece of old town Brookhaven.

“It’s important to push for finding ways to use these old buildings,” he said. “And, to not have vacant buildings downtown – that momentum can change a downtown area. The idea is to repurpose buildings for retailers that need really large spaces.”

DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / John Lynch describes the interior of The Crossing.
DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / John Lynch describes the interior of The Crossing.

Lynch turned the building into an events center that’s managed by Top It Off Events, a business that resources everything from sound and lighting to fancy portable restrooms for any kind of event. Ricky Reeves owns the Jackson-based business and developed a relationship with Lynch through the planning of three weddings.

“My wife and I have three daughters,” Lynch said with a laugh, “so we got to know Ricky pretty well. He always said he loved Brookhaven and he said there was a need in Brookhaven for something like this.”

Lynch had local artist Dr. Kim Sessums advise him on interior design.

“We both like mixing old with the new,” Lynch said. “When he walked in and saw the big open space he said, ‘This place needs a mezzanine.’”

The mezzanine at The Crossing is an interior balcony that over looks the building’s large central space with a row of pillars adorned with art-deco lighting.

Lynch said the building was built around 1900 as a pool hall. It features terrazzo flooring – made with pieces of marble sunk into mortar and given a high polished finish – along with an antique tin ceiling with classic Victorian designs and a mezzanine floor that is heart-pine recovered from the ceiling in another part of the building.

The mezzanine leads out onto a spacious outside balcony overlooking Railroad Avenue and historic downtown. It also features a railing consistent with the art-deco touches that local welder Roy Dixon put together.

“We showed him pictures of art-deco railing that we liked, and he was able to craft it for us,” Lynch said.

The Crossing has a prep kitchen with plenty of hookups for caterers and other event preparations. The center also has wi-fi access and wide-screen TV’s for presentations.

There is a private back patio that landscape designer Melinda Legg has turned into a quiet oasis. The patio is detailed with greenery, bistro lighting and a wall water fountain.

Lynch said the center is ready for all types of events: rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and business meetings. He said they have already hosted a wedding reception and the annual A Taste of the Trust event featuring fine food and wine.

If you would like to find out more about The Crossing or the services to be offered by Top It Off, visit their website at www.topitoffevents.com, or contact Ricky Reeves at (601) 316-9000.