BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Old Brick House sits serenely facing beautiful Back Bay in Biloxi. That picturesque backdrop is what almost destroyed the mid-nineteenth century home, nearly six years ago.
"If this house had been built at any other time when the storm came through, it wouldn't be standing here," said Bill Raymond, historic administrator for the city of Biloxi. "But it was just so well built that we were able to put it back together."
Raymond, is the man who oversaw the restoration project. He knew it was going to be a challenging process.
"Mostly it had to do with materials, and construction methods. You know, they don't use the same materials anymore. They don't use the same methods, and we really wanted to be as true to the house as we could to put it back together."
It was that attention to detail that made this such a lengthy project. It took crews four and a half years to reconstruct what was once a middle-class home. Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle was finding the right brick.
"Now the brick challenge took about a year and a half to figure out. It was finding a brick that would match the house with the same color, get a brick soft enough that it wouldn't destroy the old bricks, and was the same size," Raymond explained.
The custom brick was part of the reason it cost more than $740,000 to restore the historic structure. But it's also what makes the home unique.
"This is a brick structure. The walls are made of bricks. You know today's construction, you would build a wood frame and then put brick veneer on the outside. That's not the way this house is built. These are solid brick walls, they're three bricks thick."
Fully furnished, and historically accurate, the Old Brick House is now ready to welcome back visitors.
"Before the storm we were busy almost every weekend with an event out here, and I think we're going to get right back to that real soon."
By the way, the Old Brick House was originally built by a former sheriff and mayor of Biloxi, John Henley. He was also Captain of "Henley's Invincible's," a local defense company during the Civil War.
If you are interested in reserving the home for an event, you can call 228-435-6121.