Vote for your favorite Gulf Coast places

Well we’ve had a week off from polling, but if we’re going to build a list of 101 Mississippi Places to See Before You Die, we need to keep at it. Last week we finished off the Natchez poll, and this week the 2-week clock starts ticking on the Gulf Coast poll.

Some of you will note that the Coast list has grown a bit from the initial suggestion period. On second look, I thought it was a little thin, so I took the liberty of adding some places I thought merited attention. As with the Natchez district, I’m sure a few places have been overlooked, but we have to cut it off at some point, and maybe down the road we can gather the stragglers together and find a way to tweak the list on an annual basis or something.

As you know, W. White put a lot of work into summaries for the Natchez District, but this time around I didn’t have time to do that. Clicking the name of the property below will usually send you to a picture or a post that I’ve written about it previously, and there’s also the National Register option for most of the properties, if you’d like to do a little research before making your decision.

Here’s the list

The poll will close at midnight, presuming I can stay up that late, on Friday, February 25. You can vote for up to 12 properties. If you know people or organizations on the Coast that might be interested in voting, be sure to send them a link. Alright, go to it!

Categories: 101 MissPres Places, Contest, Gulf Coast

19 replies

  1. Good work.

    I’m a little surprised the Ocean Springs Community Center (with the Anderson murals) is not drawing more attention….


  2. I would like to see Oldfields located in Gautier (where Walter Anderson and family once lived) added to this list. It is really sad that the city officials seem to have no interest in preserving this historic home. It is in dire need of repair right now. I believe it would be a great historic loss for the Gulf Cost as well as the state of Mississippi.


  3. The neglect of Oldfields is on par with the neglect of Mt. Holly up in the Delta and Arlington in Natchez–all landmarks and all rising to the level of criminal. I wish I could add Oldfields to the list at this point, but the poll is already set unfortunately. We took suggestions for these polls back in December and no one suggested it, and even though I did add some more before the poll went public on Friday, I just didn’t think of every place. We have a couple of other landmarks that we forgot, and I’m thinking we might gather them at the end and do a separate poll, or perhaps tweak the list annually so that we can add other properties. Sorry about that.


  4. We did kind of ignore the coast during the nominating process. I for one, am still too focused on the great buildings that were washed out to sea or had casino barges run them down.

    Biloxi City Hall (the old post office), the “new” Peoples Bank in downtown Biloxi, and the old Peoples Bank in downtown Biloxi probably could have been added to the poll. That isn’t a criticism of you, Malvaney; I didn’t remember them until just a day or two ago.


  5. While the Peoples Bank Buildings are arguably some of the best buildings with the highest level of integrity in downtown Biloxi are they really top 101 material? Biloxi City Hall could be added as the best building constructed of marble in the state possibly. I agree that Oldfields could have been included based on the the period of construction and its location, but there are sites better associated with Walter Anderson that could have been listed such as the Walter Anderson Cottage or the whole of Shearwater Pottery itself.

    Am I sounding too picky?


  6. Yeah, if I had to do it all over again, I would have made sure to add the Biloxi City Hall at least. I did actually think about the Walter Anderson Cottage, but since the community center, his largest work was already on there, I didn’t add the cottage. Probably would if I had to do it all over again. Probably not the Peoples Bank buildings–very nice buildings and local landmarks but 101 is a small number to spread around the state and I just don’t see them in that group.

    On another note, a reader noted today that I had left the Mary C. O’Keefe building off the actual poll, while including it in the linked list above. I honestly did go through the poll a couple of times to try to ensure that didn’t happen, but I’ve added it to the list, and hopefully the O’Keefe people will get out the vote for their building enough to push it up where it might have been anyway. My most humble apologies.


  7. There is a statue in Bay St. Louis called Our Lady of the Woods. It is a small, maybe 4 ft. tall plaster of Paris sculpture of Mary. It was brought over from France over 155 years ago, and has stood out in the elements for that length of time. It has miraculously survived numerous hurricanes and disasters. It is located behind Trinity school.


  8. I and my husband wondered why the new Ohr-Okeefe Musuem of Art is not mentioned in the list, after it took so long to build and complete this display. We have toured the old musuem in the back and can’t wait to see the new one. We have watched it being built. I have family in Bay St. Louis and grew up from childhood visiting the Bay until the hurricane Camille blew our camp down. We would visit from Baton Rouge, La which is my hometown and where I presently reside. We have no beaches to speak of and another reason why we love visiting here with my relatives. I love the serenity of the small towns, people and culture along with the beaches, sea gulls, and even stingrays!! Of course the seafood is so fresh and abundant. We love it.


    • Well, Ohr-Okeefe is a great suggestion, but as I mentioned above, we didn’t get much response from the Coast back in December when we had the comment period to suggest places for the polls. I tried to fill in the gaps in that initial list, but just overlooked Ohr-O’Keefe. As I’ve mentioned with a few others that we’ve missed, we may come back to them at a later time and vote on the stragglers at once.


  9. The 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street in Bay St. Louis should be counted as one ‘place’. Lost a few buildings in Katrina, but still plenty of beautiful arcghitecture, very old live-oaks, and most of the great retail shops that have been there for years are still there.
    The whole ‘Old Town’ area is basically one big historical district, from the houses on Ulman and Carroll that rival in size and splendor the houses on Canal Street in New Orelans, to the old Courthouse and Post Office on Main, I see something new every time I visit.


    • We had a discussion during the suggestion period back in December about historic districts and decided that this would be a list focused on individual buildings, not districts. We did allow small groups of buildings, such as the Gulf Park campus and a couple of others that were less “districts” and more a single place with two or three buildings grouped together.

      But you’re right, Old Town Bay St. Louis is a great place.


  10. The Hancock County Courthouse is a beautiful building. It should be included in your list of sites.
    Even though it may be a “district,” Main street, Bay St Louis represents the immense and collective effort of many people in the restoration of the Bay. Also, the remaining or restored homes on North and South Beach Blvd. should be seen as an important memory of what once was.


  11. I assumed (mistake) Orr-O’Keefe wasn’t on there because it wasn’t finished. I should have spoken up, and should have remembered Oldfields.

    Maybe at the end of voting something could be done to produce a consensus to cure omissions?


  12. The Depot District of Bay St Louis houses several iconic sites which all merit a visit.
    * The Bay St Louis Little Theatre’s new home and recently restored historic building, has been known since 1960’s as the “This Property is Condemned” building. It was the location for the film of the same name based upon a Tennessee Williams 1-act play. The film starred Natalie Wood and up-and-coming actors (!) Robert Redford, Charles Bronson and William Blake, among others. It is now a Mississippi State Landmark.
    * The beautifully restored L&N Train Depot now houses the Visitor/Tourism center in a picturesque setting of old Oaks and walking paths. It and the accompanying businesses across the street (Depot Row) were prominently featured in the above film.
    * The 100 Men DBA (Debating Benevolent Association) has a rich history in the Afro-American community, including its role as an entertainment venue for Afro-American Blues and R&B musicians such as Ike Turner and BB King, to name a few. The building has been lovingly restored and will be the only extant site on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to receive a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker (tent date June 13-17).


  13. I would hate to see the White House Hotel left out of the list. As one of the few surviving grand hotels of another era, it is important that this history should be recognized in some way.


  14. I would like to say that the beautiful statue of Our Blessed Mother behind what is now known Holy Trinity Catholic School should be on the list. It survived many hurricanes and is at least 150 years old. Also, the historic court house on Main Street in Bay St. Louis has been restored to its original, (minus spitoons.) “Back of town” by the railroad station is a sight to see including the old railroad station where commuters to N.O. would commute to work and come back home in the evening to the peace of Bay St. Louis.



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