Frank Gehry was not disappointed when he saw the mossy oaks shading the Biloxi property where the Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art will be built. "I sensed that it was going to be beautiful," the architect said. "And then I got here and it was even more beautiful."
The world renowned architect has now walked around the oak filled property next to Tullis Manor twice. He's starting to get an idea of what can and can't be built there. "Maybe some people here fantasize that I would make wiggling buildings that are evocative of George Ohr. And maybe I will," he said. "But probably not. I would think that would trivialize George Ohr."
Gehry is known for creating architecture that amazes people. He thinks the oak trees give him that opportunity in Biloxi. "I keep thinking about these dancing figures dancing with the trees, waltzing in the trees. I don't know what that means. Let's see if any of that means something when it's done."
Gehry spent the morning at Tullis Manor. He talked about how his new neighbor will compliment the museum he designs. "I wouldn't make a big thing hovering over it, trivializing it. And I wouldn't ignore it."
As you know, Frank Gehry built the Guggenheim Museum in Spain. He also designed world class facilities in Prague, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. And now his architecture will blend in with these Biloxi oaks. "I'm going to try and do something that has something to do with the history of Biloxi as I see it, as I will try to understand it. And something you can be proud of, that we can all be proud of. And George Ohr could be proud of."
The new Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art may become part of a new Biloxi Cultural Campus. A blue ribbon committee is looking at whether the museum, a park, and Tullis Manor can be combined into a campus that the city can market.