What May Be First New Beach Home Going Up - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

What May Be First New Beach Home Going Up

A drive along Highway 90 in Biloxi doesn't reveal any new home construction, until you get to 2532 Beach Boulevard. That's where Frank Pelligrino is building what he thinks may be the first home from the ground up. 

"I think I'm, if I'm not the only one, there might be one or two others but I haven't seen anyone building on the beach. I've seen right off the beach but not on the beach," he says.

The house that was on the site before Katrina was a cottage that Pelligrino added to over the years. To withstand future storms, he says he knew he had to build stronger and higher. The finished house will be 28 feet above sea level, ten feet more than his old home. 

"I'm going to stucco the house in concrete. I'm spraying dense foam in the walls. I'm doing everything I can, strapping every stud, every rafter, everything. I'm doing everything I can to make it as wind resistant as I can and if I lose this one it's not because I didn't try."

At first Pelligrino was discouraged in his determination to rebuild because he couldn't find a contractor. So he and the wife started looking at a house to buy but the front porch view of the Mississippi Sound was too strong to resist. 

"We looked at maybe 30 or 40 houses and every time we walked out the front door and we didn't see this, we saw other people, other houses, other neighborhoods, we said, 'No, we can't do this.' I've been living up here for 31 years and hurricanes is just the way it is. I can't see living anywhere else."

The Pelligrino's home will be 2,400 square feet. The construction started about six weeks ago and Pelligrino says finished or not, he will be in the house on December 24 to celebrate Christmas.

by Marcia Hill

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