Old Brick House in Biloxi
Since restoration, the mid-1800s Old Brick House on Back Bay Biloxi has lured evening Dixieland jazz concerts, home-tour pilgrims, couples getting married and lots of folks intent on garden parties. Tourist and locals visited it to admire the antiques and interesting architectural design, which includes dormers and locally made brick.
Historians say this 1½-story red brick house is considered one of Biloxi's most important structures because it represents the period of the city's earliest substantial settlement and the interest of New Orleanians.
Sitting on a 1784 Spanish land grant, the property was bought by William Rogers in the 1840s, and he asked that on his death it be sold to benefit an asylum for poor boys in New Orleans.
A later owner helped "defend" Biloxi, with a bit of trickery, against a landing of Union soldiers. The National Register house, today owned by the city, is also headquarters for the Biloxi Council of Garden Clubs.
Katrina was not kind but did not destroy it.
The thick exterior walls still stand, but the front porch, which seemed like the back porch because the house faced the bay, is gone, said Bill Raymond, the city's historic administrator. "The main structure is still there and has about 60 percent damage. It is repairable and it will be repaired.
"It's important to save this, one of only four National Register structures left that are owned by the city.
"The city lost six historic buildings on the National Register: the Brielmaier House, Forteich House, Tullis-Toledano Manor, the Toledano slave quarters, Crawford House and Danzler House. We have left the Creole Cottage, Magnolia Hotel, the Glenn L. Swetman House and the Biloxi Lighthouse. Add the Old Brick House to that list."
- KAT BERGERON