OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Following Hurricane Katrina, charettes were held coast wide to plot the future of rebuilding the coast. Tuesday, a much smaller charette was held in Ocean Springs to map out the future use of a valuable piece of downtown property.
The Applewhite property is on Church St. It's almost two acres of undeveloped beauty, surrounded by magnolias and majestic live oaks. There is a keen interest in what happens here.
Vicki Rosetti-Applewhite has used the property for outdoor concerts in the past and has ideas about its best use.
"It's clear to us that there's a void for a large open space for people to come together and do whatever they want. Make it whatever they want for the day. So in my mind, it's a bit of a community events plaza," Rosetti-Applewhite explained.
After touring the property, members of the Charette team moved indoors. After hearing some ideas, Mississippi State architectural experts said the next step will take time.
"The process today will be an intensive session to try and come up with good ideas. And from there, the next step is to figure out how to implement them," said David Perkes with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
Other participants included staff from the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, including Corey Christy.
"I think we're trying to see what we might be able to bring down here to increase the traffic downtown and then introduce a presence to let people know what we're doing downtown," Christy said.
Whatever the future may hold for this piece of property, whatever amenities may be put up, one thing that all the participants in the Charette agreed upon was that the space has should remain green space. That's the opinion of Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran.
"I think it's very important to have green space throughout the town, pocket parks. It's adjacent to Marshall Park. It's served well and already proven to be a very popular space for musical events. We'd like to keep it that way and it blends very with our festival venues that we often have in downtown Ocean Springs."
Officials with MSU said it could take a few weeks to compile the results of the Charette and come up with a game plan for the future use of the property.