When Hurricane Katrina’s high winds and massive storm surge slammed into Mississippi’s Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, many of the Coast’s most enduring landmarks disappeared. Gracious beach front mansions, simple Creole cottages, bungalows, and shotgun houses—significant historic sites and private homes—the storm spared none of them. Even the downtown commercial centers on the coast were devastated by the storm surge and raging flood waters. Several blocks on the high ground in Bay St. Louis and in Pass Christian were all that was left of the grand miles-long stretch of historic houses that once defined the Mississippi Coast.
The destruction from Hurricane Katrina has been one of the worst human and cultural disasters in our nation's history. After Katrina the Mississippi Heritage Trust (MHT) responded by temporarily changing its work plan to focus on the recovery of the remaining damaged historic buildings. Below are some of the Katrina related efforts that MHT has been involved in:
Assisted the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) with assessment to document damaged historic properties and identify historic areas in need of additional assistance across the coast.
MHT Executive Director working in Bay St. Louis
on damage assessment.
Worked with MDAH, the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) to bring in volunteer experts (structural engineers, architects, and architectural historians) from all over the country to help analyze buildings and their structural integrity to prevent unnecessary demolition and assist homeowners in how to stabilize and repair their homes properly.
Volunteers from the Association for Preservation Technology
that came to help with structural analysis of damaged historic buildings.
Historic Properties Recovery Fund for Mississippi
Shortly after the storm, MHT set up a recovery fund for preservation related work on the coast. Over $250,000 was raised since the fund was established. Money was used for the Pilot Stabilization Program, public meetings, volunteer support, and other items related to recovery.
Pilot Stabilization Program
MHT and NTHP initiated a demonstration program to prove that damaged historic buildings could be stabilized rather than demolished. MHT coordinated the stabilization work for seven houses, one Masonic lodge, and a historic school. The Program was funded by the American Express Foundation, NTHP, Johnson & Johnson, and the World Monuments Fund.
The Walter Anderson Cottage in Shearwater under going
stabilization efforts as part of the Pilot Stabilization Program.
For more images of the Stabilization Program click here
Good Neighbor Paint Project
Working with volunteers from around the country, the Mississippi Heritage Trust has helped paint nine historic houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina through its “Good Neighbor” House Painting Project. The project utilized funds from MHT for supplies, and paint was donated by Valspar and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Volunteers contributed 3,754 hours of hard work scraping and painting the houses.
Volunteers at work painting a house in the Paint Program.
For more images of the Paint Program click here
Together with MDAH and NTHP, MHT lobbied for preservation funding at the national level. The director of MHT testified before a Congressional subcommittee to discuss the damage to historic properties. MDAH and MHT hosted tours for delegations from Congress to look at the extent of the damage to historic properties and how federal grant funding could help. Those visits helped to solidify the $26 million in federal funding that Mississippi received for stabilization and repair of historic properties.
Tour of the Coast for US Senate Appropriations staff to
show them preservation projects in progress and
how a grant program could work.
MHT engaged the media on the local and national level about the destruction of historic properties caused by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Articles appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Architectural Record, Historic Preservation magazine, and more. MHT worked with reporters at the Sun Herald newspaper to publish articles about the importance of preservation and the projects of MHT and its partners. The MHT director also traveled around the country to talk to organizations about the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and to raise money for recovery efforts.
Article that appeared in Preservation Magazine
Photos of Damage from Hurricane Katrina
To go to a specific area click on the name below:
Beauvoir - Biloxi:
Beauvoir after Katrina
Beauvoir after restoration
Both of these houses were demolished in the clean up efforts.
House on Beach Blvd in Biloxi that was restored after the storm.
Biloxi - Lost Landmarks:
A three story casino barge landed on top of the
1856 Tullis Toledano Manor crushing it into pieces.
Pleasant Reed House on the Ohr-O'Keefe
A casino barge slammed into the corner of the
1927 Tivoli Hotel, which was later demolished
East Ward School built 1921 has since been demolished
Gulfport Train Depot
2610 13th St. in downtown Gulfport
Gulfport - Turkey Creek:
Bay St. Louis - Beach Boulevard:
The remains of the road bed that used to be Beach Boulevard.
Beach Boulevard showing some of the remaining buildings and what used to be the road bed.
The remains of a historic home on Beach Boulevard.
Bay St. Louis - Main Street
View of the damage to the buildings on Main Street.
View of Main Street looking towards the Gulf.
The steeple to Main Street Methodist Church was blown down.
The roof of this house on Main Street was peeled off.
The storm surge washed out the first floor of this house on E. Scenic Drive and the house later collapsed and was demolished.
This house on E. Scenic Boulevard was pushed off of its
piers by the storm surge and was later demolished.
The Walter Anderson Cottage after Katrina and
after restoration work.
The Charnley House after Katrina and stabilization work
The Charnley Guest Cottage after Katrina and stabilization work.
The photo above shows the Louis Sullivan House that was
lost during Katrina. Photo courtesy of Robert M. Craig.
House on Front Beach that was damaged by
the storm is now being stabilized.
House on Beach Boulevard that was later demolished.
View of Beach Boulevard looking west.
1303 Beach Boulevard
House on Beach Boulevard
The Old Spanish Fort or LaPointe-Krebs House only suffered minor damage to the porch roof.
Pilot Stabilization Program
Before and after photos of buildings in the stabilization program:
Rectitude Masonic Lodge in Gulfport
Shotgun house in Bay St. Louis
Walter Anderson Cottage during and after stabilization
Good Neighbor Paint Program
Before and after photos of houses painted through the program:
Paint Program Volunteers:
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