Update on White House fountain and restoration of other historic properties

The City of Biloxi has awarded a $113,000 contract to local contractor J.O. Collins to restore the White Avenue fountain, a storm-ravaged landmark in the median of Beach Boulevard at White Avenue.

To see video of the fountain as it appeared before Hurricane Katrina, click here.

An update from Historical Administrator Bill Raymond on the city’s renovation of historic properties:

— Biloxi Lighthouse: The scaffolding has been removed, and workers are painting the interior of the structure, where bricks dislodged by the storm have been restored. Contractors are manufacturing a new door. A bonus that will be in place when the lighthouse is restored: An exhibit inside the lighthouse will show the level of storm surges through the years. The $413,000 restoration of the lighthouse is expected to be completed in December.

— Old Brick House: Contractors have removed the damaged portions of the Back Bay structure and have shored up the house. All floor beams have been re-set. Contractors are beginning the masonry restoration, where the biggest challenge is finding bricks to match the existing bricks. Bricks must be a certain size and meet levels of water-absorption, density and color. The Old Brick House restoration has a budget of $369,000 and an August 2010 completion date.

— Saenger Theater: Specifications for Phase I of the restoration – repairs to the roof of the downtown structure – are currently undergoing FEMA review. Phase I budget and expected completion: $183,000, January 2010.

— Swetman House: Phase I, exterior restoration of the city home in west Biloxi that currently houses the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, is out for bid. Budget and expected completion: $247,000, April 2010.

— West End Hose Company Fire Museum:
Project to restore the fire museum and educational center on Howard Avenue is out for bid. The project, with a budget of $107,000, is expected to be completed in April 2010.

— Magnolia Hotel:
A contract to restore the Rue Magnolia fixture has been awarded and a notice to begin work is expected in weeks. Project has a $294,000 budget and is expected to be completed in June 2010.

— Creole Cottage: The cottage has been re-located from Lameuse Street to the Rue Magnolia, but final work on adding steps is on hold pending the move of the Slay house from Reynoir to the Rue Magnolia. The Creole Cottage project had a budget of $28,000.