Biloxi Looks At Cultural Campus Around New Ohr Museum

Biloxi's two schooners sit at their docks, hidden behind the Isle of Capri Casino.  Seafood Museum Director Robin Krohn would like that to change.  "We have asked and dreamed about having the schooners out on Highway 90 for probably the last seven or eight years," she said.

And now her dream may come true. You see, in the next couple of years the Mike Sekul and the Glenn L. Swetman may move from their docks to a new pier across from Tullis Manor.  "I think it's going to happen," Krohn said. "I think everybody is working together as one team to make it all happen and make everybody happy and satisfied with the overall project."

The Schooner Pier proposal would link the historic boats to what's being called Biloxi's new cultural campus.  One of the project's architects is Craig Webb.  He said, "The main feature that's going to tie all the parts together are the trees on the site. They're very beautiful, very old oak trees."

Craig Webb works with Frank Gehry. They're the architects who have to fit the new Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art within the mossy oak trees behind me. They're also helping a Biloxi Blue Ribbon committee put together a master plan that ties the trees, the Mad Potter's museum, Tullis, the schooners and a new tricentennial park into one campus like setting.

"What an ideal thought," Ohr Museum director Marjie Gowdy said. "People can come and ride the schooners, they can go down to the seafood museum, they can go to Tullis , they can come to the new Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art, they can go to the park, all easily connected and discussed together and everyone will benefit and everyone learns."

The Biloxi cultural campus master plan should be finished early next year. If it's approved, the schooners should tie up to new docks in either 2003 or 2004.

by Brad Kessie