Giving Century Hall in Bay St. Louis a historically minded makeover

Updated: Apr. 5, 2019 at 6:41 PM CDT
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BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A lot of historic buildings in Bay St. Louis are undergoing a makeover. New Orleans developer Jim MacPhaille is restoring quite a few, including the more than 100-year-old Century Hall.

The historic structure, built in 1909 on Second Street in Old Town Bay St. Louis originally belonged to the Woodmen of the World Benevolent Society. It has been many different things over its long life. Today, it is "The Shops of Century Hall."

Inside, a number of different businesses operate. You’ll find antiques, an array of collectibles, and a high end art gallery.

MacPhaille bought the building and the first thing he did was restore the second floor, where it once looked like a tornado ripped through.

“You see a changed room,” MacPhaille said proudly as he opened the doors to a finished second floor. “We had a burned out place up here. We took down all the tin, sandblasted it, and put it back up. It’s all original from the Woodmen of the World building.”

MacPhaille has renovated and converted several historic downtown buildings in the Bay. He enjoys repurposing these grand old structures.

“These buildings are dilapidated. I want to bring them back to life so everyone can enjoy them,” he said.

The Shops at Century Hall draws tourists in for a coastal Mississippi experience. The building is next to Cedar Rest Cemetery, and Century Hall Manager Susan Peterson says local legend adds to the colorful history of the place.

We wanted to know about rumors of a ghost that resides in the building.

"There are a lot of people who can feel the spirit. On two occasions, these Ghostbuster groups came in and actually feel something," Peterson said. "Things have fallen off the walls and stuff like that."

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, The Shops at Century Hall is located at 112 South 2nd Street, right next to the Mockingbird Cafe in downtown Bay St. Louis.

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