Our Mothers of Sorrows Catholic Church in Biloxi is already recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, but the school building across the street is not. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
Efforts are being made to save historical buildings in Biloxi and at the same time potentially revitalize an area of town.
Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond is part of a group trying to place some of the city's oldest buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church is already recognized, but across the street the school building where Claire Marino Rhodeman attended and graduated in 1949 isn't.
"You don't find too many buildings dating back to 1914 that look like this," said Marino-Rhodeman. "This is a landmark, you don't find many landmarks that are here to stay."
You can sense the history inside the old school building. It's a place one of the few Americans to be canonized St. Katherine Drexel visited.
"We get a lot of people interested and just being a part of feeling that spirit of St. Katherine Drexel," said Cheryl "Bunny" Thompson, Our Mother of Sorrows staff member. "I can not see how it would not be on the historical register because of all the history we have here."
By placing Our Mother of Sorrows school building and others in the Division Street area on the register of historic places Raymond hopes to draw attention to a part of Biloxi he said was the heart of African American life.
"One of the things we want to do is to document those buildings that are still remaining, document their history and do all we can to save them," said Raymond.
An open meeting is being held Tuesday for people to offer suggestions on any other buildings in Ward 2 that might need help saving.
"We want them to help us to begin the process of identifying buildings in this area that are important to the community so that we know about the building itself and about the life of these buildings and a life that happened around these buildings," said Raymond.
The forum takes place Tuesday at Our Mother of Sorrows School on Division Street starting at 5:30 p.m.