In honor of the one and only 12-12-12 day any of us will ever see (unless we can get that Youth Serum working so we all live to be incredibly old and wise yet fit and trim, making all the young people of 50 or 60 just wish we would go ahead and kick off into the Great Beyond), today we recognize one of the rare historic properties in our small-town state with “1212” for an address. According to the MDAH Historic Resources Database, there are only 32 properties old enough to be considered historic with this street number. Why? I suppose only the largest of Mississippi’s towns grew big enough to get into the twelves, as the MDAH list contains entries from Vicksburg, Biloxi, Gulfport, Ocean Springs, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Meridian, and . . . Rosedale?
But the 1212 we’ve chosen to highlight today is the Gryder House, also known as the Cat House, at 1212 Iola Road in Ocean Springs, . One of our 101 Mississippi Places to See Before You Die, the house, which sits in an otherwise unprepossessing neighborhood on Old Fort Bayou was built in 1960 and designed by Oklahoma architect Bruce Goff. With its whimsical concrete forms, hyperbolic parabaloid roof (Thomas Rosell’s heart is racing even now), terrazzo floors, mast (a mast! on a house!), and moat (a moat!), the Gryder House is so full of cool hipness, it might never grow old and hopefully will reach the next 12-12-12 intact and ready for another century.