Jim Seidule boarded his house on Dolan Avenue and helped other Gulfport neighbors, then headed to his beachfront townhouse at Acadian Village where a swimming pool awaited to cool him down. |
"I was probably the last person to swim in that pool," said Seidule, now a retired educator. "They had already put the furniture in the pool when I went for my swim."
To keep outdoor furniture from flying in storm winds, it's not unusual for hurricane preparations to include sinking chairs and tables.
When Seidule returned several days after Katrina, he was able to locate his townhouse slab by its floor tile. Each townhouse or loft was different, and that, along with well-maintained lawns and buildings and the New Orleans French architecture gave Acadian Village its charm.
Built in 1982, 4710 West Beach Blvd. was one of the Coast's earlier condominium projects. It had 10 buildings with four condos in each.
"Acadian Village was a good investment for me - my children loved staying there when they visited - but I don't care to go into condos again. These were delightful little townhouses. What they're building now won't be like that with lots of people and elevators.
"Acadian Village was quality, not quantity."
Before Katrina, Seidule debated with himself about whether to make his retirement home Acadian Village or the Dolan Avenue house. Katrina made up his mind for him, and he feels fortunate to have the repairs now completed on Dolan.
Last week, Seidule and other Acadian Village owners received their first insurance payments, and he has now paid off his mortgage. In April, he said, the majority of Acadian Village condo owners voted to sell the land.
"It was just a delightful place. I wish it were still there. A few days ago I checked it out and the swimming pool was fenced in."
- KAT BERGERON