Looking Back Katrina’s 9th Anniversary: Biloxi & Gulfport

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 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 what heroic efforts have been made towards recovery, remind us of what was senselessly lost, and prepare us with lessons for future preservation disasters.

Today we are right in the middle of our week-long east west trip across the coast.  Today we look at Biloxi and Gulfport.

Biloxi had many buildings that survived standing after Katrina, but could not survive the call to “clean up.”

Among these building was 988 West Beach Boulevard.  The survey teams used simple methods to communicate with owners -who were often scattered across the country- that their buildings could be saved.  Letters with repair suggestions, contact information. and encouragement were placed in plastic bags and stabled to the structures.

But sadly 988 West Beach Boulevard is just another empty lot today.  Next we continue west to Gulfport.

Gulf National Bank, Gulfport Harrison County. J Baugnh, MDAH 10-04-2007 from MDAH HRI accessed 8-17-2014

Gulf National Bank, Gulfport Harrison County. J Baugnh, MDAH 10-04-2007 from MDAH HRI accessed 8-17-2014

Gulf National Bank Of Gulfport was a landmark structure right at the corner of Highways 49 & 90.  The 1955 structure survived hurricane Camille but during Katrina the first floor was a washout.  The building stood until 2008 when it was demolished for the concrete.

The First Presbyterian Church on Beach Blvd was in a similar state post-Katrina.  Though the structure survived the storm the congregation decided to demolish the building.  Just because a structure was off the beach didn’t mean safe harbor.  From 2nd street to Turkey Creek historic properties were affected.

Tomorrow we’ll look in on Long Beach and Pass Christian.

Categories: Banks, Biloxi, Churches, Demolition/Abandonment, Disasters, Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Lost Mississippi, Mississippi Heritage Trust, MS Dept. of Archives and History


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