National Register listings come in two sizes: individual properties and historic districts. In this year’s National Register listings, historic districts outnumber individual properties, which is unusual because districts take more work than individual buildings or sites. The number of districts this year is a reflection of FEMA’s post-Katrina survey work in all three coastal counties to update existing districts and create new ones. I’m told that 2016 will continue this National Register work in Harrison County.
Yesterday’s and today’s posts are brought to you by Bill Gatlin, MDAH’s National Register coordinator, and Eric Reisman, MDAH Survey Manager. All photos are courtesy of MDAH.
Reynoir Street Historic District, Biloxi, Harrison County
The Reynoir Street Historic District in central area of Biloxi, Mississippi, is a six acre enclave of residential properties built between c.1890 and the early 1950’s. It occupies roughly two-thirds of the block between the CSX Railroad and Division Street, encompassing both sides of the street. The houses in the district share many common features including setback, scale, massing, materials and design. A majority of the resources in the historic district were constructed during the period of significance. The district comprises a compact and intact collection of historic properties. Few vacant lots or non-historic buildings punctuate the district. All of the resources are houses. FEMA architectural historian Hugh McAloon wrote the nomination. The district was listed on January 14, 2015.
A copy of the nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/251.pdf
East Howard Avenue Historic District, Biloxi, Harrison County
The East Howard Avenue Historic District is a collection of late 19th and early 20th century residential architecture. It represents a neighborhood in the East Central part of Biloxi that is centered on East Howard Avenue and extends roughly from Downtown Biloxi on the west, to Holley Street on the east. The area has historically included a variety of residential building types including single family houses, duplexes, and apartment buildings. Architectural styles range from high-style houses to modest cottages. The most common style and type is Craftsman Bungalow. Other common forms and styles in the district include Vernacular, Folk Victorian, and Queen Anne. Styles that are also represented, though in fewer numbers, are Colonial Revival, Free Classic, Gothic Revival, Neo Classical, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. Commercial and industrial buildings have also been part of the neighborhood fabric. Amanda Burke, FEMA architectural historian, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on May 29, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/253.pdf
Upper West Central Historic District, Biloxi, Harrison County
The Upper West Central Historic District is located within the west central section of the Biloxi peninsula. The district is bounded to the east by Hopkins Boulevard, to the west by the eastern side of Iroquois Street, to the south by Esposito Street as well as the CSX Railroad tracks, and to the north by an irregular line along and north of Division Street. There are both natural and man-made boundaries (including Keegan Bayou, the CSX Railroad tracks, and Ill 0) that distinguish this district from other area in the city and had roles in its development. The streets form a regular grid plan. The district is primarily residential, with a small commercial strip along Division Street. The Upper West Central Historic District consists of buildings constructed between about 1890 to present the day. The historic district contains 163 structures; of these buildings, there are 135 contributing structures. The forms and styles dating from the earliest period of development include the regional vernacular Shotgun and T-front and L-front forms with Folk Victorian and Queen Anne detailing. Although building slowed in the years between 1925 and 1934, it did not completely stop, illustrated by four Mission style houses built during that time. The Craftsman style is the singular most dominant style, and was common during the latter part of the first building boom (1911-1924) and throughout the second building boom ( 1935-1945). Houses in two styles, Minimal Traditional and Ranch, were most commonly built in the post-World War II era. Xana Peltola, FEMA architectural historian, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on May 29, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: : https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/252.pdf
Lameuse Street Historic District, Biloxi, Harrison County
The Lameuse Street Historic District is located in Central Biloxi. Lameuse Street is the spine of this long, narrow, irregularly shaped district, which extends northward from the CSX Railroad to Elder Street, a block short of the Back Bay. The district is crossed by two streets, Division Street, one of Biloxi ‘s east-west traffic arteries, and Bradford Street, a residential byway north of Division Street. Residential buildings characterize the district, with the exception of a commercial corridor along Division Street and a church complex at the intersection of Lameuse and Bradford streets. The district encompasses 120 resources, 104 of which are contributing, and 16 of which are non-contributing. Building forms in the district include bungalows, center halls, 20th-century commercial, L-fronts, Shotgun houses, Creole Cottages, and Biloxi Cottages. Hugh McAloon, FEMA architectural historian , wrote the nomination. The district was listed on June 1, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/254.pdf
Winona Historic District, Winona, Montgomery County
The Winona Historic District consists of buildings, a cemetery, and a monument located along portions of and encompasses downtown Winona and the residential neighborhoods on all sides. There are 432 contributing resources and 224 non-contributing resources. The resources of the district are primarily residential, but also include some commercial, government, religious, educational, social and funereal properties. The architectural styles represented in the district follow a typical pattern to be expected of a small Mississippi railroad town. The earliest homes display lingering influences of the Greek Revival and ltalianate styles. Late nineteenth century residential buildings are predominately Queen Anne in style and form. The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century commercial buildings are brick with subtle detailing in the patterned articulation of their cornices. Early twentieth-century residential buildings exhibit a transition from the Queen Anne to the Craftsman style. Those dating to the second quarter of the twentieth century are of Craftsman, Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, or Ranch styles. The surviving historic churches and the post office possess the high style design designs with a range of style from Gothic Revival, to Classical Revival, to Colonial Revival. Also of note are the rustic Tudor Revival Works Progress Administration built community house and the Stick style railroad depot.
Laura Blokker, preservation consultant, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on June 1, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/256.pdf
Broadmoor Place Historic District, Gulfport, Harrison County
The Broadmoor Place Historic District is a 46-acre rectangular area located northeast of downtown Gulfport, Mississippi. The district centers on the curvilinear Broadmoor Place, formed by a central boulevard with a landscaped median and semicircular streets. The district is composed primarily of detached single family residences and a church. The buildings represent nationally significant architectural styles popular during the neighborhood’s period of development between 1922 and 1965. There are 173 resources in the proposed district, of which 145 are contributing and 28 are noncontributing. Architectural Styles represented in the Broadmoor Place Historic District include Minimal Traditional, Craftsman/Craftsman Vernacular, Ranch, Spanish Eclectic, Colonial Revival, Modern, Tudor Revival, and Dutch Colonial Revival. Laura Thayer and Xana Peltola, FEMA architectural historians, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on September 28, 2015.
A copy of the nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/258.pdf
Soria City Historic District, Gulfport, Harrison County
The historic district encompasses the section of Soria City that has historically been an African American neighborhood, one of the few residential neighborhoods in Gulfport available to African Americans during the era of segregation. Although it lacked a unifying industry or place of employment, the neighborhood was self-sustaining, containing shops, schools, churches, community centers, and dwellings. The buildings reflect regional trends in architectural development, as well as the popular architectural styles from around the turn-of-the-20th Century until the early 1960s. The proposed district includes 205 resources, of which 163 resources are contributing and 42 resources are noncontributing. Xana Peltola and Laura Thayer, FEMA architectural historians, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on September 28, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/259.pdf
South Drummond Street Historic District, Vicksburg, Warren County
The South Drummond Street Neighborhood Historic District consists of a total of 364 resources including buildings, subsidiary buildings, a playground, a bridge, and a channeled bayou. The district occupies land historically considered a suburb of downtown Vicksburg and is comprised of a number of late 19th to mid-20th century suburban planned neighborhoods that developed south of Bowmar Avenue. The planned subdivisions within the larger South Drummond Street Neighborhood Historic District indicate large-scale efforts to meet the needs of a growing population and the ideals of suburban life away from the noise and pollution of the city. Not only does the layout of individual subdivisions adhere to evolving patterns in residential planning, the majority of the architectural types and styles reflect popular housing trends throughout the southeastern United States during this period. The building types and styles further speak towards the city’s efforts to provide a range of housing from low-income, affordable housing, to large estates occupied by some of Vicksburg’s most affluent residents. The South Drummond Street Neighborhood Historic District includes 331 contributing resources and 32 non-contributing resources. Jamie Destefano, architectural historian, wrote the nomination. The district was listed on September 28, 2015.
The nomination can be viewed here: https://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/257.pdf
For previous years’ National Register summaries:
- 2009 Part 1
- 2009 Part 2
- 2010, Part 1
- 2010, Part 2
- 2011, Part 1
- 2011, Part 2
- 2012, Part 1
- 2012, Part 2
- 2013, Individual
- 2013, Historic Districts
- 2014, Individual
- 2014, Historic Districts
Categories: Biloxi, Gulfport, National Register, Vicksburg, Winona
The great variety of design styles interest me in these descriptions. Can you recommend a reference book for me to be better informed about them?
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I would recommend Virginia McAlester’s recent update to the Field Guide to American Houses. While the original Field Guide, written with her late husband Lee, was a true “field” book that you could carry into the field with you, the new version is much heftier, but has much more information about a broader array of houses across the country, more pictures and detail drawings, and some very useful essays on post-World War II resources that preservationists have only recently begun to consider.
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What led to so many districts being listed in Biloxi and Gulfport? I noticed that FEMA architectural historians wrote the nominations, so is it part of a FEMA remediation under Section 106 in exchange for them demolishing something else? Also, since the National Register does nothing for actually preserving these residential districts, does anyone know whether these National Register listings are being coupled with local district designations that will actually preserve these houses from demolition, inappropriate development, and/or vinyl windows (the problem that irks me the most when I see them on old houses).
Like the post says these nominations are “FEMA’s post-Katrina survey work in all three coastal counties to update existing districts and create new ones.”
I do not believe Gulfport has any local districts. Biloxi’s updated districts do better reflect existing local historic districts. Now getting cities to always enforce these preservation zoning regulations that’s another story.
I’ll surmise that with Katrina’s declaration of emergency and the National Register being federal the feds had some sort of obligation to look in on the NR and make a decision if any action was necessary.
In 2008 10 individually listed structures in Biloxi were delisted due to their Katrina related destruction.
W. White, you are correct that these nominations grew out of Section 106 negotiations about FEMA’s activity after Katrina. Katrina was the first disaster in which FEMA paid for demolition on private property. Previously, private property owners could clear their own debris and bring it to the public right-of-way, where FEMA would pay to have it removed, but in this disaster, there was a lot of pressure to help homeowners even more, and so FEMA paid for actual demolition and debris removal on private property. FEMA would not pay, however, for stabilization work on private property, as they viewed this as “improving” private property with public funds (which is against federal rules)–meanwhile they didn’t view demolition as “improvement.” This was a huge preservation issue, since it provided an incentive for property owners to demolish their beachfront properties, even if they were able to be saved, and then just sell the vacant lot. On the face of it, it seemed like a nice thing for FEMA to do, but in the beachfront environment of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it meant the after-storm destruction of historic districts such as Biloxi’s long West Beach Historic District and the taxpayer-funded million-dollar demolition of the National Register Tivoli Hotel.
These decisions to pay for private property debris removal were made far above the level of the State Historic Preservation Office (MDAH), but we did negotiate with FEMA to try to ensure that properties had to meet a certain level of damage before public funds would be expended for their demolition. Nevertheless, FEMA agreed in 2007 that the program had had an “Adverse Effect” on historic properties, and one of the ways they have tried to mitigate that effect is this coast-wide survey, which has resulted in numerous new historic districts. FEMA’s Gulf Coast office is closing this week, having just completed the survey of upper tier counties George, Stone, Pearl River. We at MDAH hope to have the backlog of nominations moved through the review process by early 2017. FEMA will be publishing three documents covering their survey results in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties, and we hope those will be available online sometime next year.
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Thank you for this insight!
In the last picture of South Drummond Street, Vicksburg, the blue house with white trim in middle is EXACTLY in every detail including colors, steps up to yard, driveway through attached portico, to a home in Andalusia Alabama. It was a shock to see it as I spent many happy days in the one in Alabama.