Gulfport celebrates "rebirth" of Grass Lawn

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr calls it "the rebirth of a historic landmark."

Mayor Warr and other community leaders gathered beneath the oak trees Wednesday afternoon to break ground for the reconstruction of Grass Lawn.

That historic, antebellum home and city symbol was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It will be built exactly as it was; all 3200 square feet. The one million dollar project is being paid for in large part with a $500,000 grant from the state's Department of Archives and History.

"Grass Lawn was not only one of Mississippi's finest Greek Revival buildings, it was one of the Gulf Coast's first vacation cottages," said Ken P'Pool with the MDAH, "And I use that term cottage loosely because it was a great mansion".

The reconstruction project is already underway. Block columns have already been placed around the beachfront property.

"This structure is responsible for many of our residents memories," said Mayor Warr, "Not just those who were fortunate enough to be graced by participating in events here, but it's like these majestic oaks that we see as we drive down the beach."

The Mayor says the rebuilding of Grass Lawn is simply the latest in a growing list of projects underway or about to begin.

"The resurrection of this great mansion is a stunning symbol of our city's recovery; a glaring reminder of what we've been through and just how far we've come," said the mayor.

"We have a long list of projects that have been completed in the months since the storm and many others that are in motion at this very moment."

The new Grass Lawn is expected to be finished by late summer.