Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Walking Biloxi 2

With lunch finished, we resumed our walk around historic Downtown Biloxi, armed with our brochure of the same name.

The photo below shows the third church of The Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary. It was constructed in 1902 and is a fine example of late Gothic Revival. On the exterior of the church are numerous lancet windows of all sizes and on all sides.
A unique feature of the Church is the square tower on the southeast corner of the building that was originally meant to hold the steeple. It houses the huge four-faced clock with its powerful bell and the stairs to the choir loft where the pipe organ, piano and chimes are installed.

The vaulted interior has groin vaults (formed by the perpendicular intersection of two barrel [semicircular] vaults.)in both nave and aisles, the two being separated by an arcade of pointed arches. The vaults in the nave are higher and wider than those in the aisles.

The next three photos show a 180 degree view of the interior. The stained glass windows were quite impressive.

Five additional stained glass windows were above and behind the altar.
Two windows on the left and the center window (right)

The center window (left) and two windows on the right

The first church, a modest structure built in 1843, was severely damaged by an 1869 hurricane. Then, a larger frame church served the city from 1870 until obliterated by fire in 1900--the year when half of downtown Biloxi fell prey to the fiery conflagration.
The view toward the choir loft

But for the church built in 1902, the adversity was not over. More damage would occur in the 1906, 1969 and 1985 hurricanes. Other improvements necessarily followed and are continual (
The windows in the choir loft

And strangely enough, the church had only minor damage from Katrina.

"Georges and Elaina actually did more damage. A tornado actually hit the church in 1985," noted Father Tony Arguelles (
The pipes of the organ

An example of the portrayal of the stations of the cross

Rue Magnolia is a beautiful small street, open to vehicles only in emergencies.

Cousins House, c. 1910, (left)

This building, Le Café Beignet, is an example of the Queen Anne style. The house is asymmetrical with a front-facing gable and porch that extends across two sides.
Creole Cottage, c. 1830

The importance of the clapboard frame structure lies in the use of an early Louisiana folk plan often referred to as French creole.
Henriques-Slay House, c. 1902

The building has a bracketed overhang across the main façade instead of the typical gallery, which is unusual for Biloxi. Such overhangs are numerous in New Orleans, but this is the only extant example in Biloxi.

Brunet-Fourchy House, c. 1844-54

This structure is important architecturally because it is one of the earliest documented buildings in Biloxi. It represents a decided New Orleans influence, particularly in its floor plan, which has four rooms and two chimneys with one back-to-back fireplace in each room. This arrangement is a reorientation of the traditional Creole cottage typical in historic New Orleans.
Magnolia Hotel, c. 1847

This is the earliest tangible reminder of the early days of the resort industry in Biloxi and, as such, is one of the most historic buildings on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Biloxi Tricentennial Mosaic, c. 1999

Families from Biloxi and neighboring communities provided ideas for different sections of the mosaic, and local artist Elizabeth Veglia, with the assistance of Mary Wager and community volunteers crafted these ideas into mosaics.
And along with these historical structures will come a new baseball stadium and the AA Southern League Huntsville Stars, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, who will move to Biloxi for the 2015 season.

The finalist in the "Name the Team" contest are the Biloxi Beacon, Black Jacks, Mullets, Schooners, Shrimpers, or Shuckers. My favorite is the "Shuckers," which celebrates Biloxi's legacy as the original "Seafood Capital of the World." Shucking oysters has been synonymous with Biloxi for generations.