In last year’s National Register historic districts post, I noted that there were a number of historic districts written by FEMA and that 2016 was supposed to continue this trend. Sure enough, this year, four out of the six historic district nominations were prepared by FEMA, all in Gulfport. I’m told that 2017 will still have one or two FEMA-prepared nominations but that by and large, their National Register work on the Coast is done for now.
One thing that has stood out to me as I’ve read the FEMA nominations is the amount of research they’ve included about the people who lived in these neighborhoods, whether attorneys, school teachers, carpenters, prominent business people, political leaders, dock workers, or housekeepers. This really brings these places to life so that they’re more than interesting bungalows (and Gulfport has LOTS of bungalows!) but have a full life story to go with them. You may not have time to read every one of these nominations, but I encourage you to pick at least one and immerse yourself in the kind of local history research that is the National Register at its best.
For individually listed buildings from 2016, see yesterday’s post.
Central Gulfport Historic District
Gulfport, Harrison County
The Central Gulfport Historic District comprises approximately 37 blocks, and has 408 resources in the south central area of Gulfport: north of US Highway 90, south of 24th Street, east of 25th Avenue/US Highway 49, and west of 17th and 18th Streets. Resources in the historic district represent a spectrum of architectural styles and types coinciding with the period of significance, 1887-1965. The Central Gulfport Historic District is significant for its collection of buildings having a high and moderate degree of integrity reflecting construction trends in the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century and general population growth of the City of Gulfport. Because coastal areas of Mississippi including the City of Gulfport have been altered by development and multiple weather related events, most recently Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Central Gulfport Historic District is an intact representation of residence and commercial buildings that follow the history and development of the city. Jason Zwolak and Laura Thayer, FEMA Historic Preservation Specialists, wrote the nomination. The Central Gulfport Historic District as listed on January 19, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/260.pdf
Second Street Historic District
Gulfport, Harrison County
The Second Street Historic District, located in Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi, is approximately 25 acres that includes a collection of 71 houses, 55 of which are contributing and 16 of which are non-contributing. The district is located a little over one mile east of downtown Gulfport, just south of the CSX Railroad and traverses the area parallel to the coastline on a southwest-northeast axis. The district has been, and continues to be, primarily residential. Built between 1900 and 1960, the architectural styles chosen by builders and property owners reflect local interpretations of nationally prominent architectural styles. Due to the long period of development, the resources of the Second Street Historic District represent a wide variety of styles and housing forms. Laura Thayer and Erin Marceaux, FEMA historic preservation specialists, wrote the nomination. The Second Street Historic District was listed on January 19, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/261.pdf
Southwest Gulfport Historic District
Gulfport, Harrison County
The Southwest Gulfport Historic District is an approximately 113-acre, largely residential neighborhood located west of downtown Gulfport. Comprised of 291 resources constructed between 1893 and 1966, the district represents surviving structures of some of Gulfport’s earliest platted neighborhoods. Architectural styles found in the district include: Folk Victorian, Queen Anne, Craftsman, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. Also included in the boundaries is the previously listed H.S. and Mattie Walker House on 32nd Avenue. Laura Thayer and Hugh McAloon, FEMA preservation specialists, wrote the nomination. The Southwest Gulfport Historic District was listed on May 16, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/262.pdf
Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute Historic District
Prentiss, Jefferson Davis County
The Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute Historic District is located southeast of the town of Prentiss in Jefferson Davis County. It is historically significant as one of the most widely recognized private African-American schools in early-20th century Mississippi. Founded by Jonas E. Johnson and his wife Bertha LaBranche Johnson in 1907, the school evolved and grew as an elementary and secondary school, and eventually into a college for African American students in the region until it closed in 1989. The Administration Building, constructed in 1926 and paid for by the Julius Rosenwald Fund, is a rare example of a concrete-block Rosenwald school building. It is the only surviving Rosenwald building of its type, out of at least thirty mostly wood-framed identical buildings, which were built in the state. In the 1960s, the campus served as a local hub of civil rights activity in Jefferson Davis County. David Schneider, preservation consultant, wrote the nomination. The Prentiss Institute was listed on May 16, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/263.pdf
Gulf Gardens Historic District
Gulfport, Harrison County
Gulf Gardens Historic District encompasses 114 houses located approximately one mile east of downtown Gulfport in Harrison County. The district is significant for the period of 1926-1966. Originally platted in 1925 by the Hardie Ellis Realty Company, this uniquely laid-out residential district centers on the east-west oriented Park Boulevard. The boulevard’s wide, curvilinear, tree-lined, median and other mature landscaping set a strong tone for the district as a whole. Architecturally the district represents a modest, middle class residential neighborhood that developed in close proximity to Gulfport’s major industries during the early- and mid-twentieth centuries. Notable architectural examples include the Spanish style houses in the 3600 block of Park Boulevard, Craftsman Bungalows in the 1600 block of Fern Avenue, and Minimal Traditional style homes in the 3600 block of 15th Street. The nomination was written by Jason Grismore and Laura Thayer, FEMA. The district was listed on September 9, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/1262.pdf
Quitman Downtown-Mill Historic District
Quitman, Clarke County
The Quitman Downtown – Mill Historic District covers approximately 120 acres with government buildings, a monument, a park, religious buildings, and residential structures. Of the 271 total surveyed resources, 229 are contributing, 6 resources have been previously listed, and 42 resources are non-contributing. The physical layout of Quitman developed based on the location of the M&O Railroad and the site of the Long-Bell Lumber Company mill, one of the largest in Mississippi. The housing stock includes examples of employee housing built by the company. The buildings in the district illustrate nationally popular architectural styles. The nomination was written by Jeff Rosenberg, preservation consultant. The district was listed on September 9, 2016.
The nomination can be viewed here: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/dist/1263.pdf