Holloway on centennial of City Hall building

Here are Mayor A.J. Holloway’s comments at the June 30, 2008 reception marking the centennial of the building housing City Hall:

On behalf of myself, the members of the Biloxi City Council, and councils and mayors of the past, welcome to City Hall and the observance of the centennial of this building.

Some people have called this the centennial of City Hall, but it’s actually the centennial of this building, which was opened as a U.S. Post Office, federal courthouse and Customs House.

I’ve always realized that the decisions made in this building have a direct impact on people’s lives, whether it’s a zoning issue, setting the property tax rate or how much you pay for your water bill.

For a time, the decisions made in this building were bigger than that. This is where people became citizens of the United States, where they gained their freedom, or in some cases, lost their freedom.

I think my first encounter in this building was one summer many years ago. I came into see Mayor Lax Quave about a summer job. I didn’t get the job.

I was fortunate decades later, however, to be hired to by citizens of Biloxi to serve as mayor.

You’re going to notice some nicks and scratches in the interior and exterior of the building today, but our plan is to completely renovate the entire structure.

Once we get approval from the Department of Archives and History, our plan is to re-plaster all of the walls to their original appearance, paint all of the walls, put in new carpeting, re-glaze all of the windows and give the exterior of the building a good washing.

The goal is to return this building to its original luster.

Today, you’re looking at the BEFORE picture. Next year, we hope to show you the finished product.

Finally, we have a treat for you this evening.

Upstairs in the council room, you’ll find Bryan Rosetti, a Biloxi High drama student, who will portray Laz Quave, who was the mayor when this building became City Hall in 1960.

Bryan will give you some interesting background on this building. Thank all of you for being here and God bless all of you.