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LaPointe-Krebs House
August 132015

LaPointe-Krebs House

4602 Fort Street  |  Pascagoula, Mississippi

The LaPointe-Krebs House, also known as the “Old Spanish Fort”, was never a fort at all but rather a one-story, three-room house. It was constructed circa 1750 and is believed to be the oldest standing structure in the Mississippi Valley.  Sieur Joseph Simon de la Pointe, a French Canadian admiral in Bienville’s fleet, was commissioned by the French government to build the structure on the shore of Lake Catahoula (later Krebs Lake).  The French Colonial, heavy-timber architecture of the structure makes it a curious study of building materials.  Oyster-shell concrete, or tabby, filled the floor and 18-inch thick cypress and cedar walls.  Bousillage, a mixture of clay, animal bones, pottery fragments and Spanish moss, was later added between timbers on the west addition of the building.

Around 1741, de la Pointe’s daughter, Marie Josepha Simon, married Hugo Ernestus Krebs, of Neumagen, Germany, passing along ownership to the Krebs lineage until 1942.  The property was used as a cotton, rice, indigo, and wax myrtle plantation.  It is believed that Krebs had invented his own cotton gin using slave power, predating Whitney’s cotton gin by two decades.

Fully restored in 1996, the house served as a museum and community gathering place until Hurricane Katrina. Water rushed beneath the floors, stripping away the foundation and demolishing most of the floor and porch structure.  The house has been stabilized and restoration work continues under the leadership of Jackson County and the LaPointe-Krebs Foundation, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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West Pascagoula Colored School

902 De La Pointe Drive  |  Gautier, Mississippi
Built 1921

With $200 in funding from the Jackson County Board of Supervisors and $500 raised by the community, the West Pascagoula Colored School was constructed in 1921 in the West Indies style of architecture.  Ms. Ernestine Fountain taught approximately 22 students each year in this one room school house, which was heated by pot-belly stove.  The school closed in 1946 and the building was used as a community center, senior citizen center and voting precinct.  Situated in a city park, the building sat vacant for over thirty years after being acquired by the City of Gautier in the 1980s.  Listed as one of Mississippi’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2013, the City of Gautier and the Gautier Historic and Preservation Commission are currently raising funds to restore the building for use as a local history museum.

To make a contribution to the Gautier Pride Schoolhouse Project, please visit

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12 Oaks
August 132015

12 Oaks

1112 Hanley Road  |  Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Named for the many large Live Oaks that surround the house, Twelve Oaks sits on 30 acres overlooking Old Fort Bayou.  The property was purchased from the U.S. Government in 1854 by the James family.  In 1880, Leannah James sold the property for $5.00 to Johanna Smith-Blount, one of her former slaves.  Four years later, Mrs. Blount sold a four acre parcel of the property to the African Methodist Episcopal Church for use as a campground.

As stated in newspaper accounts from the period, the campground was a popular site for meetings and revivals. In August 1884, the Pascagoula Democrat Star announced “that a colored Methodist camp meeting would begin September 12th at the Blount place near Colonel Gill’s property”.  The Reverend Mr. Smith, pastor in charge, expected distinguished ministers from New Orleans to attend the session.  It was reported in a local journal that “the new Methodist Episcopal Church North, a colored church, was erected for $1,000 in February 1898”.  Local lore states that baptisms were performed in Old Fort Bayou.  Trustees of the church sold the property in 1911.

With financial support from numerous organizations, the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain acquired the property for conservation in 2005.  Trails leading to Old Fort Bayou are maintained by volunteers and birders who regularly visit 12 Oaks.  Damaged in Hurricane Katrina, the building has been restored and is now used an artist retreat.

To learn more about the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain and their mission, please visit

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Biloxi Schooners
August 132015

Biloxi Schooners

367 Beach Boulevard (Schooner Pier)  |  Biloxi, Mississippi

At the opening of the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in 1986, a program was launched to construct two replicated 65’ Biloxi schooners to be used as educational tools, goodwill ambassadors, and to revive the once nationally famous Biloxi schooner races.  In 1989 the “Glenn L. Swetman” built by William Holland was launched and in 1994 the second two-masted schooner “Mike Sekul” built by Neil Covacevich was launched.  These schooners charter seven days a week along the MS Gulf Coast.  When seen on the horizon, it is like taking a step back in time with the “White Winged Queens” sailing again.

To escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, the schooners were moored up the Tchoutacabouffa River.  The boats were anchored with hurricane lines tied to large pine trees.  Five other small boats that had been donated to the museum were also evacuated.  Of these seven boats, only the schooners and one smaller boat weathered the storm.  Back on the coast, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, housed in the former United States Coast Guard Barracks, had been destroyed.

It was a beautiful sight when both schooners sailed into the Gulf for everyone to see that they had survived.  They sailed all the way to the Biloxi Lighthouse and back to the Point Cadet Marina, where two slips had been salvaged for them.  The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum began running trips starting October 1, 2005, providing income to sustain the museum in the hard days following the storm.

Learn more about the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum and the White Winged Queens at

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Magnolia Hotel Mardi Gras Museum

119 Rue Magnolia  |  Biloxi, Mississippi
Built 1847

Built in 1847, the Magnolia Hotel is the last of the Gulf Coast’s antebellum inns that once welcomed visitors fleeing the sweltering summers in New Orleans.  Restored by the City of Biloxi in the 1970s, the Magnolia Hotel was hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. After an extensive restoration, the building reopened in 2014 as the Mardi Gras Museum, telling the colorful story of the coast’s Fat Tuesday celebrations.

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August 132015

Saenger Theatre

170 Reynoir Street  |  Biloxi, Mississippi
Built 1929

Constructed in 1929, the Saenger Theatre opened with the showing of “Interference”, Paramount’s first all-talking movie.  Purchased by the City of Biloxi in 1975, the theatre is home to many performing arts groups on the coast.  Each May, hundreds of tiny dancers grace the grand stage for recitals.  The theatre had recently undergone an extensive $3 million dollar restoration, which included restoring the vertical neon sign and original ceiling and installing new seating and carpet, when Hurricane Katrina hit, damaging the roof and wrecking the newly completed faux finish paintwork in the auditorium.  Water infiltration continues to take its toll on the building, with a current restoration estimate of $500,000 to stop the leaks and restore the plaster and paintwork.

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Biloxi Cemetery
August 132015

Biloxi Cemetery

1166 Irish Hill Drive  |  Biloxi, Mississippi
Established early 1800’s

A walk through the Biloxi Cemetery is a walk back in time.  With gravestones dating to the early 1800s, the cemetery is the last resting place of many of the founders of Biloxi and includes the graves of artist George Ohr and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Charles Albert Bessey.  When Hurricane Katrina washed ashore, the once peaceful cemetery was battered, with above-ground tombs open to the elements and grave markers scattered throughout the area.  The City of Biloxi hired Reynolds Monument Company to complete a $300,000 restoration project to repair 10 tombs, 200 headstones and the brick and wrought iron fence.  Contractor Don Reynolds likened the project to putting together a puzzle.  The City of Biloxi regularly hosts a cemetery tour in the fall, with re-enactors telling the story of Biloxi’s past through the voices of those buried in this historic place.

To view before and after photographs of the restoration, please visit

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Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

246 Dolan Avenue  |  Gulfport, Mississippi
Built 1915

Located in the 1915 Mississippi City Elementary School, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center offers 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, six acres of outdoor play space, a spacious theatre and a Viking teaching kitchen to engage young people in learning in a fun, creative way.  With initial funding in 1991 from Gulfport Junior Auxiliary, co-founders Rose Alman and Carole Lynn Meadows led the community effort to make the dream of a children’s museum a reality.  In May 1998, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center opened its doors.

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center stood strong among the old live oaks during Hurricane Katrina, but the storm surge reduced the entire first floor of exhibits to rubble.  The education building was destroyed, the pavilion was left a shell and the gymnasium was flooded.  In those dark days after the storm, Lynn Meadows served the community as a place to gather and reconnect.  Volunteers helped to remove the rubble, and, after much hard work, the museum reopened on June 6, 2006.

To learn more about Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, please visit

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Bay St. Louis Little Theatre

398 Blaize Avenue  |  Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Built 1929

The Bay Saint Louis Little Theatre was built in 1929 by Mayor John Scafide as a store and residence in the Depot District.  It was constructed of rusticated concrete block, personally cast by Scafide.  Over the years the building has had a number of uses, including boarding house, apartments and various businesses, each leaving its mark on the original structure.

In 1965 the big yellow block building became the fictional Starr Boarding House, centerpiece of the movie “This Property is Condemned”.  Based on a Tennessee Williams play, the film starred Natalie Wood, along with newcomers Robert Redford, Charles Bronson and Robert Blake.  Many locals worked on the film, an exciting time in the history of Bay St Louis that is still remembered fondly by many townspeople.  From that time forward the property has been called the “This Property is Condemned” building.  Hurricane Katrina almost made this nickname a reality.  Neglected over the years, the building was already in poor condition when the storm hit in 2005, causing further damage.

Established in 1946, the original Bay Saint Louis Little Theatre was lost in Hurricane Katrina.  With funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, along with strong support from the local community, the organization was able to purchase the “This Property is Condemned” building in 2008 and restore it to become their new home.

To purchase an engraved brick to help with restoration efforts and see upcoming performances, please visit

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Valena C. Jones Boys & Girls Club

310 Old Spanish Trail  |  Bay St. Louis, MS
Established late 1800’s

The Valena C. Jones Colored School was established in Bay St. Louis in the late 1800’s. The Hurricane of 1947 destroyed the school, but it was rebuilt and became a hub of the black community.  The main building was designed by architect Milton B. E. Hill from Gulfport and was constructed in 1947.  An addition with classrooms, dining hall, and gymnasium with an iconic barrel vaulted roof, was added in 1953.  The vocational shop buildings were added in 1956, completing the campus.

Desegregation came in 1969 and the building served as an elementary school until 1972.  The City of Bay St. Louis then used the building for a senior center and police and fire departments. Located along a coastal ridge, the building received very little flooding during Hurricane Katrina and was used as the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center until 2009, when restoration efforts to convert the school into a Boys and Girls Club began.  Restoration work included manufacturing steel windows to match the historic fabric of the building, reinforcing masonry walls and replacing the curved roof of the gymnasium.  Completed in 2010, the Valena C. Jones Boys and Girls Club now hosts over 300 students with summer and afterschool programs.

To learn about the good work of the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast, please visit

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Gulfport Train Depot
September 262013

In the late 19th century the railroad played a pivotal role in Gulfport’s history leading to the city’s incorporation in 1898. The G&SI RR transported vast amounts of timber harvested from the Piney Woods region of south Mississippi to Gulfport, rapidly turning the harbor that was completed in 1902 into the world’s largest timber shipping port during the early 20th century. The Gulfport & Ship Island Railroad Depot was built in 1904 as the first permanent station for that line. Once trains stopped rolling through, the depot served as home to the Gulfport Centennial Museum until 2005 when the wrath of Hurricane Katrina forced its closure. It opened its doors back to the guests in March 2013 with a grand celebration of successful restoration efforts. Read more about the Gulfport Train Depot. Tell us a story of your own.

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Tivoli Hotel
September 262013

Built in 1927, the Tivoli Hotel was one of the remaining Grande Dame resorts of the 1920’s – a roaring time when the Mississippi Gulf Coast was known as the American Riviera. The Italian Renaissance Revival-style hotel fell into disrepair in the 1970’s and was ultimately closed to the public in the 1990’s. A casino barge slammed into the hotel during Hurricane Katrina, sealing its fate and ultimately leading to its demolition in 2006. This historic treasure was lost, taking with it an opportunity for restoration. Read more about Tivoli Hotel. Tell us a story of your own.

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Old Capitol Museum
September 252013

The Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, was built in 1839 and is the site of some of the state’s most notable legislative actions. The Greek Revival structure was the state’s capitol until 1903, when the New Capitol was constructed. It was abandoned and nearly demolished save for the efforts of a group of preservation-minded women. After being home to several state agencies, it found new life as the State Historical Museum in 1961. Hurricane Katrina’s damage impacted far more than the coastline of Mississippi. Its wind and rain blew off the massive copper roof and flooded the building, damaging thousands of priceless artifacts. Restoration took place over the next four years when the building reopened to the public in 2009. Read more about the Old Capitol Museum. Tell us a story of your own.

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Shaw Homestead
September 232013

Built in the early 1880’s, the Shaw Homestead is a proud example of the dogtrot architecture so popular in the South when hot days had no respite save for a shady spot on the breezy front porch. Four generations of Shaws lived here over the course of its lifetime, ultimately evacuating for Hurricane Camille, never to return. It sat vacant for almost 40 years. After Hurricane Katrina, the property was donated to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain in 2006 and is currently being restored to serve as a museum of rural life. Read more about the story of Shaw Homestead. Tell us a story of your own.

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Lovingly named “The Church of the Fishermen,” for its devotion to early 1900’s maritime population from the Gulf Coast, St. Michael Parish Catholic Church faced our country’s worst hurricane with amazing resilience. When 200-mile/hour winds and a 28-foot tidal surge knocked on her door, the lower portions of her magnificent stained glass perimeter shattered beneath its pressure but her spirit was far from broken. Read more about St. Michael. Tell us a story of your own.

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St. Rose Parish and School began as a place for African American children to receive a quality education in 1868 and built the lovely St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church in 1926 to accommodate its mission in the Bay St. Louis community. When Hurricane Katrina blew through in 2005, Father Sebastian, its priest at the time, turned to the sacrament “To Avert the Storm” and prayed God’s mercy over his church and parishioners. Miraculously, when he arrived the next morning expecting the worst, having travelled over fallen trees and viewed the storm’s destruction all around, he was relieved to see that the church had only sustained minor damage. The prayer book still laid open to the very page of the sacrament he had prayed the day before. Covered in mud and having lost their homes, the parishioners gathered together and turned St. Rose into a distribution center for supplies and food, hosting a parade of volunteers and guests in the rebuilding effort taking place all around. Read more about St. Rose de Lima. Tell us a story of your own.

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Mary Mahoney’s
September 202013

One of the oldest buildings in Biloxi, the Brunet-Fourchy House gracefully greets guests with its distinctive Greek Revival iron railing along the front gallery that is identical to the railing on the House of Representatives at the Old Capitol Building in Jackson.

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Even though the beloved historic buildings have been lost, the congregation of the Church of the Redeemer continue undaunted, rebuilding time and again, a testament to the resilience of a determined people. Read more about the Church of the Redeemer. Tell us your story.

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Quarles House
September 182013

Known as the “catalyst for the development of Long Beach,” W.J. Quarles moved his family to Long Beach from Tennessee in 1884, joining only thirteen other families. In its infancy, the area had no store, post office, nor school, sending settlers to nearby Pass Christian for supplies and mail. Mr. Quarles was responsible for many firsts for Long Beach including organizing the first school in Long Beach in the front part of his house; building the first dry goods store; serving as postmaster when the first post office was set up in his store; and beginning the truck farming industry in Long Beach.

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Turkey Creek
September 172013

The Rippy Road Community near the Regional Airport in Gulfport is a rarity in Mississippi. It is a post-Civil War African-American community created by freed slaves that retains much of its original architectural integrity. Many descendents of the original founders still live in their ancestral homes. As Gulfport grew in the late 19th and early 20th century, African-Americans were drawn to the area in search of jobs. They were largely segregated from areas near the Gulf, so the community of North Gulfport was established, and a neighborhood grew in nearby Rippy Road. Over the years the old character of North Gulfport has been lost, but the small Rippy Road community has managed to hold true to its origins. Nearby Turkey Creek served the community as a recreation area since the African-American residents were not allowed to use the beaches. Both of these tiny areas are threatened by encroaching development pressure.

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Oldfields (Lewis House)
September 162013

The Greek Revival home, Oldfields (Lewis House), was constructed circa 1845 by Alfred E. Lewis on 20,000 acres that included service buildings, docks, racetracks and a cemetery. Lewis, a prominent man once tax collector, postmaster, state representative, was certainly a notable resident. But Mississippi’s beloved artist, Walter Anderson, and his family spent quite some time there in the 1940’s, creating what would be some of his most joyful work. Today it sits neglected, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and nearing destruction with each passing day’s exposure to the elements. Read more about Oldfields. Tell us a story of your own.

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Old Brick House
September 152013

The Biloxi Council of Garden Clubs loves her historic jewel, Old Brick House (also known as the Rodgers House). Dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, the house was a part of property provided by the Spanish to Jean Baptiste Carquote and represents one of the earliest substantial settlements in Biloxi. When Katrina’s 7-foot floodwaters washed away its front porch and the majority of a brick wall facing the street, its future was unknown. But preservationists rallied and brought the house back to life. Read more about Old Brick House. Tell us a story of your own.

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Old Hattiesburg High School
September 142013

The old Hattiesburg High School by Robert E. Lee, a popular and prolific Hattiesburg architect, is the largest and most sophisticated example of the Jacobethan Style in the city. Its two buildings were constructed in 1911 and 1921, featuring a whimsical choice to label separate entrances for “Girls” and “Boys.” Closed in the 1960s, it later served as offices for the school district and as an antique mall. Hurricane Katrina’s 95-mph winds did tremendous damage but an arsonist inflicted far worse in 2007. In spite of these setbacks, preservationists still work tenaciously to find new life for this icon in central Mississippi. Read more about Old Hattiesburg High. Tell us a story of your own.

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Markham Hotel
September 132013

The eight story Markham Hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi was built in 1926. It was designed by Chicago architect Benjamin H. Marshall. The firm of Marshall & Fox were designers of many lavish hotels and apartment buildings across the United States including Chicago’s Drake Hotel, and Philadelphia’s Schaff Building. The firm partnered with Mississippi architect N.W. Overstreet to assist in the project. The Markham Hotel is one of two hotels designed by Marshall built on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the other one, the Edgewater Gulf Hotel in Biloxi, was demolished. The Markham Hotel was named in honor of Charles H. Markham, the former President of the Illinois Central Railroad.

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When it opened in January, 1939, Pascagoula High School was hailed as the “most modern and complete high school unit in the state.” The school’s many new amenities included an auditorium with a seating capacity of 755, a well-equipped science laboratory, large library, music department, cafeteria, and business and homemaking classrooms. Designed by the Gulfport architectural firm Smith & Olschner, the building’s massive foot-thick brick walls lend it an air of solidity and permanence, yet at the same time its angular Art Moderne style points toward a bright future of endless possibilities. The school, with a final cost of $150,000, was constructed with funding from the Public Works Administration, a Depression-era federal program that was responsible for thousands of public buildings during the 1930s.

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Randolph School
September 112013

“There’s nobody living now that Mr. Randolph taught,” says Victoria Webb. “Except for me,” she adds.

Victoria Webb is not exaggerating when, six months after celebrating her 104th birthday in 2012, she notes that she’s the only surviving student of noted educator and activist John William Randolph. Randolph taught Victoria Webb in both 8th and 9th grades, yet teaching was not his primary duty: he served as principal of the Pass Christian (Elementary) School for Colored from 1891 until his death in 1927 at age 70.

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Schaeffer House
September 102013

In February 2006, Mary Helen Schaeffer sat in a FEMA trailer on her lawn in Pass Christian, Mississippi, looking at the remnants of the gracious beachfront house she and her husband Philip had once called home. “This is worst and best of times,” she said with a mix of cheerfulness and gravity. “We have no walls. No floors. No plumbing or electricity. We were heavily insured for the storm but [the insurance company] says everything came off because the foundation shifted and we had no flood insurance. I thought FEMA would give me money for structural repairs but we’ve had no financial assistance. Luckily, we live in a country where people volunteer to work and help you.”

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Swetman House
September 82013

The O.G. Swetman Home, the Victorian Colonial Revival third-generation home of Chevis and Marcia Swetman, was built along Biloxi’s beachfront in 1905. In the days following Hurricane Katrina, as the couple were salvaging architectural details in preparation for demolition, a pair of preservation volunteers stopped by and convinced them to call a house mover to save the structure. The story of this lovely beach home is one of revival and keeping a generations-old treasure alive and well.

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Centennial Plaza (Old Veterans Hospital)

200 E.Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS
Built 1923-1946
National Register of Historic Places, 1980

Shaded by hundreds of beautiful Live Oaks, this 92 acre beachfront property was deemed the ideal place to celebrate Mississippi’s 100th birthday celebration in 1917, but with the advent of World War I, the property was given to the federal government for the purpose of military training.  It later became the Veterans Administration Medical Center – Gulfport Division. The first structure on the campus was erected in 1923.

The campus contains several wonderful examples of Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings and stands as a testament to the dramatic improvements in care programs for America’s war veterans.  The Gulfport facilities were part of a comprehensive nationwide building program, forming a thematic group illustrative of modern health care.

When it received National Register status in 1980, approximately 30 of the original buildings were still intact. Many of the original structures, consisting of primary care facilities, administrative buildings and staff residences, had been altered over the years (such as interior finishes and windows), but still maintained architectural significance.

The campus sustained massive damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, necessitating the facility’s closing and ultimate transfer of its services to the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi.  During the site clean-up after the storm, a number of buildings were demolished, both contributing and non-contributing.

The core administrative and health care facilities buildings, including the nurse’s quarters and the chapel, still stand, a testament to their sturdy construction and the determination of Gulfport mayor Brent Warr to save as many of the historic structures of Centennial Plaza as possible. A 2007 report from a National Register of Historic Places historian deemed the property still eligible for the coveted award in spite of its losses from historical alterations and storm damage.

In May 2012, the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission entered into a public/private partnership with Glastonbury Capital for the potential development of the property into a mixed-use luxury vacation community called Centennial Plaza.  The campus is intended to include restaurants, offices and hotel accommodations. Once so close to being lost forever, the future is now bright for this lovely place.


You May Also Enjoy:

  • Centennial Plaza video tour, produced by the City of Gulfport


  • 1917: The property is under construction for the celebration of Mississippi’s centennial but is instead given to the federal government during World War I for use as a U.S. Navy training facility.
  • 1922: The Veterans Bureau (later Veterans Affairs) established the Gulfport Medical Center (CVAMC) as a Neuropsychiatric Division.
  • 1923: The first of the VA Hospital buildings are erected.
  • 1980: Receives National Register designation
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina’s winds and water cause severe damage to the campus.  Many of the remaining structures are demolished before restoration efforts intervene.
  • 2009: The VA transferred the site to the City of Gulfport.
  • 2012: Gastonbury Capital is hired to develop the property into a luxury vacation community.


The property is secured with a perimeter fence, but passers-by may still admire its grandeur from Beach Boulevard.  Check back in 2015 when the City hopes to introduce the vacation property to the eager public.


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Tullis-Toledano Manor
September 62013

Tullis-Toledano Manor, an 1856 Greek Revival residence was completely destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Where this beloved and stately home once stood, an enormous casino barge came to rest after the storm. Tullis-Toledano Manor, gracious and gorgeous, is now only a memory.

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Round Island Lighthouse
September 52013

In 1833, the original lighthouse structure was erected on the soft, sandy soil, of Round Island, off the coast of Pascagoula. While no documentation has been found to describe the demise of the original structure, it is presumed to have been poorly built. The new lighthouse and keepers’ dwelling was constructed in its place in 1859 and fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens, providing a 12-14 mile visibility. Considerable but unspecified damage occurred shortly thereafter in an 1860 hurricane. Records from 1865 show the lighthouse as extinguished, possibly from the Civil War, but was operational again within the year.

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Built 1848-52 for the Brown family, Beauvoir is among the South’s grandest examples of the Greek Revival “raised-cottage” building form. Beyond its architectural significance, Beauvoir is also notable as the retirement estate of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife, Varina.

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Rectitude Masonic Lodge
September 32013

The Rectitude Masonic Lodge in Gulfport, Mississippi, is today’s honored treasure saved after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. This wood frame center for servicing the free masonry mission for African American men leaned precariously over its neighbor, near collapse and 1 day from demolition when the Mississippi Department of Archives and History performed emergency stabilization, saving another historic treasure. Read its story. Tell us one of your own.

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100 Men Hall
September 22013

The One Hundred Men Debating Benevolent Association, a group of African American residents from Bay St. Louis, constructed an open-air, screened meeting hall in 1922 to “give entertainments for the purpose of replenishing the treasury.” The “pavilion” (as it was called by local residents) was later enclosed, becoming the center of the Bay St. Louis African American social scene, hosting plays, pageants, wedding receptions and dances.

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Charnley-Norwood House
September 12013

The 3,000 square foot vacation beachfront home of Chicago lumber-baron James Charnley was designed in 1890 (and rebuilt after a fire in 1897) by renowned architect Louis Sullivan of Chicago, the father of the skyscraper, and his young draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright. This nationally significant property illustrates how these two men revolutionized American residential architecture by “inviting the outdoors to come indoors,” according to Ken P’Pool, MDAH deputy state historic preservation officer. The house contains the nexus of ideas that would reshape American residential architecture in the 20th century. A t-shape bungalow style, generous windows, flanked all around by built-in seats, bring in natural light, emphasizing the unique curly pine walls and ceiling. It represented a dramatic departure from the soaring Victorian-style homes being built all along the coast and around the US by incorporating strong and low horizontal lines enhanced by the use of shingled siding.

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The Waveland Civic Center (Old Waveland School, c.1927) is the most important historic building surviving in the largely decimated town of Waveland. Located in the center of the city, it was considered the heart of the community and preservationists worked diligently to save it. The structure sustained heavy damage, mainly to the southern wing and auditorium, as an approximately eleven-foot storm surge passed through the building during Katrina.

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Walter Anderson Cottage
August 302013

As a living testament to the interactive lives of architecture and nature, the Walter Anderson Cottage is next on our list of honored historic treasures. From his vast body of work, Biloxi Beach Lighthouse (a linoleum block print) was chosen to represent Save My Place as the cornerstone of its logo and graciously allowed for publication by his family. With its colorful array of residents strolling toward the iconic Biloxi Lighthouse, the viewer feels its energy and optimism surrounded by the lovely gulf and birds in flight in bright blue skies. This evoked precisely the spirit of the people whose stories are told in this project and was the perfect choice to represent its message: to celebrate the joining of efforts and undeniable resilience of a people whose coastline is rebuilt time and time again.

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Biloxi Lighthouse
August 292013

The Biloxi Lighthouse was chosen as the first of the Save My Place series of historical treasures because of its iconic presence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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