Future Gulfport; forty-eight years ago

I stumbled across this article in The Dixie Guide magazine while searching for other information.  It is not beyond the realm of possibility that something like this (although maybe not as large) could have been constructed.  Very interesting 2005 was picked, which has such ironic connotations.   It is surprising that such a drastic change was considered possible especially prior to Hurricane Camille.

There is a lot going on and not much of a plan can be made out from the image, other than a combination of several planning theories that had developed in the 40 years previous.  From a dash of Le Courbusier towers in a park, to several splashes of the Harrison & Abramovitz Empire State Plaza these planners didn’t want to leave any option unexplored.

Model of Gulfport from Article Gulfport of the year 2005 is Envisioned. The Dixie Guide Feb, 1966

Model of proposed future development of Gulfport, Mississippi from Article: Gulfport of the year 2005 is Envisioned. The Dixie Guide Feb, 1966

GULFPORT OF THE YEAR 2005 IS ENVISIONED.

THE DIXIE GUIDE

FEBRUARY 1966

Model of Gulfport 40 years from now — which will be year 2005 — shows a concentration of stores, shops, office buildings, hotels, transportation center and coliseum.  Aim of future planning may well be a “Convention City”, all phases of community activity grouped together.

This particular model, which was shown publicly at a Mississippi Power Company dinner at Edgewater Gulf Hotel, demonstrates a platform-principle now being used in Hartford, Conn., New York and Washington D.C.  Model is in Full color, shows 3 story elevation of entire 25-block area from 20th Avenue and parallel with Highway 90.  The rendering is the work of Jimmy Bell.

L&N Railroad, remaining at present street level actually runs under the platform on which the model complex rests.  Beneath this 25-block platform may be found 20,000 parking spaces for automobiles.  Shoppers leave cars on ground, take escalators to the pedestrian shopping areas.

The focal point of the Convention City is a Tower of Light, by which spirited community displays may be heralded at Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July and other special occasions.

The Year 2005 will undoubtedly by-pass such conjecture, as this model has attempted, in every conceivable manner . . . . Who, in 1925, would have projected a 9,000-foot runway at Gulfport Airport? Or water skiing on Bayou Bernard? Or four-lane concrete bridges across St. Louis and Biloxi Bays?

So, who in 1965 could dare predict the ensuing 40 years?  As in this model, one can only suggest.

The article was not very specific as to the area this “Convention City” would be bound by, but below is a map on which I’ve speculated where it would have been placed.

gpt proposed convention center area c 1965



Categories: Architectural Research, Gulfport

1 reply

  1. It is only too ironic that what Gulfport actually got in 2005 was Hurricane Katrina.

    Like

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