I came across this postcard showing the inside of what is now known as the Cathedral of the Nativity in downtown Biloxi and realized I had taken a picture of almost the same view a couple of years ago to compare it to. The Gothic Revival church was built in 1902 after a fire destroyed an 1870s building. New Orleans German-born architect Theodore Brune designed the structure, which was built by John F. Barnes, who was also overseeing the construction of the New Capitol in Jackson at the time.
Although the postcard is undated, it gives us a clue in the phrase “centennial year.” A trip to the well-researched and detailed Nativity website tells us the centennial year of the church occurred in 1943, so the postcard probably was published soon thereafter to show the renovations that had recently occurred and the new stained glass windows. I would suppose that even though this was the middle of World War II, the church probably experienced an influx of people from nearby Keesler Field, and in fact, the website notes that personnel from the base laid the terrazzo floor (in one night!). Hand-colored postcards sometimes took liberties with the colors they chose, but the blue ceiling with gilded ornament looks right, although the interior is more bright with the current cream coloring.
Next time you’re in downtown Biloxi, stop in and go inside yourself!