Looking Back Katrina’s 9th Anniversary: Sullivan Charnley Historic District

In recognition of the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week we feature some images from the Mississippi Heritage Trust Hurricane Katrina page along with images uploaded to the MDAH HRI database.  These files relate to the coastal towns in the month immediately following hurricane Katrina.  Included in these files uploaded were written documents such as letters, engineering assessments, and various agencies damage survey forms.  In total we will cover over fifty miles-a small portion of Katrina’s wrath- of continuous destruction and heartbreak.  These images will give us hope with had heroic efforts have been made towards recovery, remind us of what senselessly lost and prepare us with lessons for future preservation disasters.  Today we look at the Sullivan-Charnley Historic District as it appeared 9 years ago.

Charnley Norwood House and Guest Cottage. Ocean Springs, Jackson County. MDAH 9-13-2005 from MDAH HRI db accessed 8-24-2014

Charnley Norwood House and Guest Cottage. Ocean Springs, Jackson County. MDAH 9-13-2005 from MDAH HRI db accessed 8-24-2014

When planning this week-long series of post I wanted to feature a broad spectrum of buildings and places along the Mississippi Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina.  When I viewed the MDAH HRI pages for the Sullivan Charnley Historic District I was struck by the quantity of images and the devastation seen in those images.  Considering how far the buildings have come to-date, I thought it worthy of featuring these images with their own post.

Nothing was left of Louis Sullivan’s house, nothing recognizable as such save for a replica of his bedroom fireplace mantle, and the tree that once was part of the front steps.

There was more remaining of the Charnley Norwood Guest Cottage but not much that gave an easy feeling.  A uprooted tree acted as a battering ram and took out the front wall. The center chimney holding fast is what saved the original two room cottage for total annihilation. The scary thought is that 4 people were in this house during the storm, all fortunate to walk away.

The Charnley-Norwood House suffered just as much. The structure floated up off its foundation traveling eight feet north and six feet west before coming to rest on the ground. The north and south walls of the east and west bedrooms were blown off in large pieces (lending themselves to reattachment later on). The east bedroom completely collapsed.  The later additions were obliterated.  As can be seen in some images the debris line behind the house was 7 to 8 feet tall and stretched down to Davis Bayou.

A big Thank You is owed to the many volunteers that came from all over to help survey and assist owners in the assessing the necessary repairs. Mississippians owe you a great debt and a hearty Thanks Ya’ll.  Tomorrow we will take a look at Biloxi & Gulfport.

Volunteer Damage Assessment team Charnley-Norwood House Ocean Springs, Jackson County. MDAH-APT 11-30-2014 from MDAH HRI db accessed 8-25-2014

Volunteer Damage Assessment team Charnley-Norwood House Ocean Springs, Jackson County. MDAH-APT 11-30-2005 from MDAH HRI db accessed 8-25-2014



Categories: Demolition/Abandonment, Disasters, Gulf Coast, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Lost Mississippi, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mississippi Landmarks, MS Dept. of Archives and History, National Trust, Ocean Springs, Uncategorized

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