Dr. Hank Roberts opened his new dental office in the new Vieux Marché in downtown Biloxi in 1971, and it served its purpose well, until Katrina hit. |
"Katrina blew out our floor-to-ceiling windows and then the dental chairs and equipment," Roberts said. "The second floor was not damaged but the first floor was totally blown out."
He has sold the office, as is, and it is expected to be demolished as the area is redeveloped, he said.
Roberts, who grew up on Porter Avenue down by the Bay, got his dental degree at the University of Tennessee and came back home to practice in 1971.
He's renting a temporary office in Ocean Springs, but has already gotten another design with floor-to-ceiling windows. He and Dr. Jennifer Ray plan to start construction in a few months farther north at Cedar Lake Medical Plaza, off Interstate 10.
"It won't be like our dental home for more than 30 years (119 Croesus St.)," he said. "But we'll be happy to be back in a new office."
Roberts recalls watching Carnival and St. Patrick's Day parades from the deck of his two-story office, the first in Vieux Marché.
"I could stand on the deck and with a telescope see people walking on Ship Island," he said.
His family is old Biloxi. A great-great-grandfather, H.J. Meaut, was one of the early mayors of Biloxi in 1875.
"Dr. Hank," as he is known, is an artist and donates much of his work to charity. One sold for $2,900 to benefit the Boys and Girls Club. He and his wife, Janice, do mission work through Rotary International.
- GARY HOLLAND