First Lady presents grant for historic preservation


The City of Biloxi, which First Lady Laura Bush named as a Preserve America community several years ago, has been awarded a $50,000 grant to help preserve and market the city’s historic properties.

Biloxi was one of 45 communities to receive such a grant, which Mrs. Bush presented to Bill Raymond, the city’s historical administrator, during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in March.

Said Raymond: “With these funds, the city will revamp its heritage tourism marketing program in response to the significant damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina upon local historic resources. The primary objective of this project is to educate residents of and visitors to Biloxi about the historic buildings that remain, to promote the preservation of these resources, and to commemorate the significant historic buildings destroyed by Katrina.”

The project, Raymond said, will involve revising the City’s historic walking and driving tours and related brochures to identify existing historic buildings and their current use as well as to mark the sites of significant historic buildings that existed just prior to Hurricane Katrina. All-weather markers and signage also will be designed and installed to coordinate with the tour brochures, to provide supplemental information about the history of destroyed buildings. These will be complementary in design to the City’s Local Historic Landmark plaques.”

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local par¬ticipation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.