Ocean Springs Striving To Blend Old And New

Dr. Jefferson Rogers' new home is going up in one of Ocean Springs' oldest neighborhoods.

"One of the many things that appeals to me is the incredibly quaint architecture," Rogers says.

To be sure his New Orleans cottage style house blends in with the surrounding architecture, Rogers needed the okay to build from the city's historic preservation commission.

"I certainly understood their effort to make the neighborhood look like it had some symmetry as far as architectural style."

To achieve that style, Rogers scaled back his original plans, like changing the look of the front columns.

City Planner Donovan Scruggs says, "The ornate details on the columns that he showed us were much more extravagant than what you see here. So, yeah, there's been a lot of modification and a lot of hand holding on this process, but it's turned out to be a good home and a good fit for the district."

Scruggs says Rogers house is also a good "how to" example that he can point to when other home and property owners renovate or build in the historic district. The preservation commission's updated design guidelines should make the work easier.

"That would allow somebody to more or less put together a good application the first time, as opposed to going through the process and having revisions made. Then coming back a month later, more revisions made, and drawing it out to a two or three month process."

Scruggs says the city isn't trying to give historic property owners a hard time when it comes to changing the look of their homes. He says the guidelines are simply a way to maintain property values and the character of old Ocean Springs.