Beauvoir Restoration Making Progress - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Beauvoir Restoration Making Progress

Beauvoir is beginning to look like Beauvoir.

The wrap-around porch and prominent columns that gave the landmark so much of its character are taking shape.

Unlike the work teams that are carefully piecing the place back together, Katrina showed no regard for the history there.

"We lost all the porches. We lost a couple sections of roof. We had about a foot of water here in the house. So, it did quite a lot of damage and destruction," said curator Richard Flowers.

Damaged sections are being restored with careful attention to historic accuracy. A wealthy plantation owner from Madison County built the place as a summer home in 1852.

"This is where we lost the ceiling or the roof, in Winnie's bedroom, the first room of the house. They have now put back the wooden lathe that we have been able to recover here on the property," said Flowers, as he gave visitors a tour of the work site.

About 65 percent of the materials used to restore the property are original to the home. There will also be some modern touches: like making it more hurricane resistant.

"We actually have gone down four feet, poured a concrete footing and anchored steel through those. Steel rods will extend from the footings to the roof, anchoring the columns to withstand future storm winds," said the curator.

Delicate frescos inside the home will be returned to their original grandeur.

"The colors are going to actually change in all these rooms. Because we know what was there on the first layer and we're going to take it back to that," said Flowers.

Beauvoir expects to re-open to the public on June 3rd next year, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson Davis's birth.

By Steve Phillips

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