Recently in Get to Know the Coast Category


I never knew this existed. Crazy that you can be in a place for four years and just hear about something so major. I know they are doing work on recreating it but haven't had a chance to go and check it out yet. Thanks to Preservation in Mississippi for great information and photos.



From The Architectural Record, June 1905, "The Home of an Artist-Architect-The Place of Louis Sullivan":

Down in the sunny South, between New Orleans and Mobile, where the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico makes one of its beautiful indentations, Biloxi Bay girt by beach of golden sand and dark green pine trees, there lies a little tract of land some three hundred feet wide and eighteen hundred feet deep, in the midst of a forest.

The white shell road in front runs along a bluff ten feet above the water and beach, curving around in a gentle line.

One passes through the gates to within either by its winding carriage road or bordered paths and up a series of easy steps. There are no signs: "Trespassing not allowed." Visitors and lovers of Nature are welcome, for this is the resting place of a true believer in real Democracy who has voiced his sentiments in no uncertain tones.

Here there has been for some fifteen years or so a modest, comfortable one-story shingled cottage, reached only by the touch of the wind and the golden sun; and embowered among stately trees, growing shrubs, clinging vines, and in season, blooming roses cultivated with the greatest care and thought.

Across the front of the building runs an ample and commodious "gallery" or piazza, (for here one stays outdoors as much as possible) and sitting beneath great clusters of white wisteria hanging from the roof, can look over the rose garden blooming in rich profusion, through the vistas guarded by towering trees and across the stretch of water of the bay glittering with countless gems beyond the price of the ransom of kings, to the long, low island, fringed with its dark belt of trees above the white strip of sand which divides the water and the foliage-and all this scene of rest and tranquility breathing the soft and balmy air which envelops all and dims in hazy hue the far perspective.

Within the house there is first a spacious hall long and wide and with a decidedly "home" atmosphere, and containing restful furniture, good books, interesting pictures, and articles of interest selected with constant eye for their value in beauty and use. This room is large enough to permit a nook for the dining-table and its accessories, and contains a fire-place and ample bookshelves. Along the front to the left is the spacious guests' room, to the right the owner's sleeping apartments, all opening upon the gallery. Directly in the rear of the hall is the service room leading by a pasage to the kitchen. The wing of this portion terminates in an octagonal tower formerly used for the tank water-supply before the sinking of the artesian-well with its ample flow of crystalline water.

. . . .

The native forest has been touched only here and there to open vistas from the house to the waters of the bay, disclosing Deer Island, which, stretching out as a natural breakwater, prevents the incoming waves from reaching with too great a force, the beach and the oysters in their beds, clustered thereon. The trees tower aloft in all their native might. "The three Graces, the giant Twins," pines, live and water oaks, black gums, sweet gums, and hickories. To a lesser height are magnolias and catalpas, with their shinning [sic]leaves and exquisite flowers, wild-plums, glorious dog-woods, gleaming in snow-white profusion in the foreground or glinting their brilliancy amid the clustering trunks of the background. Nearer the ground are the blazing colors of the wild honeysuckle and the magnificence of the azaleas. The palmetto with its highly decorative spreading forms a base for it all, and finally carpeting the ground with the green grass are the modest yet beautiful flowers of violet, white and red softening the tread of the foot on Mother Earth.


Through the wonders of Google Books, you can read this full article and see the photographs along with a site plan that I couldn't get to copy correctly. The reference to "Democracy" in the article surprised me and made me think about what was going on at summer "cottages" of the same era in Newport and other beaches of the rich and famous-overblown marble mansions made for showy galas and elite entertainment. The Sullivan House was a reaction against this kind of architecture, and I think it fit the laid-back culture of our Gulf Coast very well.

The Sullivan House was destroyed completely by Hurricane Katrina. Its neighbor, the Charnley House, also designed by Sullivan, apparently with the help of or perhaps completely by a young draftsman in his office named Frank Lloyd Wright, survived although with major structural damage. We'll look at its slow but continuing progress next week.


Well, we are saying goodbye to our consultant, our weekend warrior chef, and our friend (for a couple of months at least) so we went to one of his favorite places in all the South: Miss Inez's on the corner of Division and Main in East Biloxi. Anyhow, Miss Inez cooks up the best burger in town (followed closely by Burger Burger on Howard but that's another story) and he can't get enough of them. Anyhow, almost the entire Coordination Center crew headed over there and saw him off.


I'm not sure if I've mentioned this but Barq's Root Beer's birthplace is actually Biloxi, Mississippi.

Here's some history straight from Ye Olde Wikipedia...

The Barq's Brothers Bottling Company was founded in 1890 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his younger brother, Gaston. The Barq Brothers bottled carbonated water and various soft drinks of their own creation. Early on their most popular creation was an orange-flavored soda called Orangine, which won a gold medal at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

Edward Barq moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1897 with his new wife. The following year he opened the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. 1898 is often given as the debut year for what was later to be known as "Barq's root beer," but some sources say this particular product was not produced until some two years later.

For many decades Barq's was not marketed as a "root beer." This was in part a desire to avoid legal conflict with the Hires Root Beer company, which was attempting to claim a trademark on the term "root beer." It was also due to differences from other root beers at the time. The base was a sarsaparilla drink of the style of the late 19th century, in a formulation with caffeine, less sugar, and higher carbonation than other brands, though with less of a foamy "head." It was decided to market the soft drink simply as Barq's.

The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation "Drink Barq's. It's good."


Note: this post co-stars Ian Schopa: Gentleman, Scholar, Road Warrior, Coastal Cuisine Connoisseur

Let me tell you something about the South. They don't have any banks we have in the north. Period. Chase? Sorry. TCF? Are you joking? Bank One? Uh, nope. Wells Fargo? The only thing with a stagecoach down here is Boomtown Casino pal. This sucks on a banking level, but on a G2KtC level, it makes for a new adventure due to the fact that Ian, one of the newest additions to the Studio has Chase Bank and the closest branch is in Slidell, Louisiana. So I found myself in his car rolling on a little afternoon adventure to deposit his paycheck and hopefully see my first Target store in months.


We only got about 20 minutes logged before Ian remembered he needed to get gas so we stopped off at a little Spur station with the most peculiar umbrellas which really didn't cover anything attached to the pumps. After that it was clear sailing all the way to Slidell. Let me state for the record I was pretty excited to get some food and check out the Target by the time I got there and I must say that probably got my hopes up a bit.


Now don't let me disturb you, but under my impression Slidell was a never-ending strip mall strewn disappointment. That's putting it lightly. We drove around for quite a while and the strip mall was pretty much all we saw of note aside from a place called Textronics which for some unknown reason required a barb-wired fence to protect its precious textile secrets. Go figure.


We ended up driving around town for a bit in search of the Chase for the aforementioned deposit as well as to exchange a bag of change that Ian claims he planned on living off of for a week or so. Fair enough.


During our search we found the bank, and also discovered a couple of things...

1) Los Tres Amigos are a bunch of liars, there are waaaaaaaay more than three of them because we have a couple on Pass Road in Biloxi and Gulfport and saw at least three on the way to and in or around Slidell. My heart is broken. If you can't trust the Amigos, who can you trust?


2) Slidell is a sh*thole. Sorry Slidell, I had to say it. Ian and I both were thinking it, and it had to come out. Maybe if you put on some makeup and wore a pair of heels once in a while or gave up the secret location of your Target store I could love you. But right now? It's over. Leave your key on the counter.


3) Driving over the lakes and rivers into New Orleans is not natural in any way, shape, or form. I think things feel strange for a reason. Seeing a train crossing it doesn't make it seem any more normal either.

*update* seriously, I want to shoot moveable type in the face sometimes. I'll redo the rest of this post which it decided to delete later...

I am now tired and will finish this update tomorrow. For now, here's a teaser: the conference room, freshly painted and the new home of our library!


The front view from St. Martha Avenue

I know I've shown you a couple glimpses of where I live, but I thought I'd show you a couple of pictures (with my car in them!) of where I hang my hat. It's a comfortable little post-war brick rambler located right next to Keesler Air Force Base and across the street from Jeff Davis Elementary School. The neighborhood is really great and I have a gaggle of fast food places, a little greek restaurant, and a comic book shop all within a 5 block walking distance. Other than a retarded dog that will walk almost all the way over to the fence acting like today is going to be the day he wants to make friends and then barks his head off, the place is quite excellent. Hopefully next weekend the weather will hold up and we'll have a little lawn game day and possibly do a little bbq. We'll see.

The view from the back

Get to Know the Coast: Le Bakery


Le Bakery is a little Vietnamese po boy and bubbletea shop that is about six or so blocks from the GCCDS. We tend to head over there once a week to grab some lunch, or in my case, to have a meeting about the park. Their sandwiches are scrumptious and cheap (2.75 to 3.75) and a bubbletea (3.25) doesn't add too much to the total. The staff is friendly, the bread is fresh, they have a dope mural done by Hands On with help from a visiting artist and the children of Biloxi (pictured below). They even have a breadcrab and a breadgator to impress the tourists! As I mentioned in my post about Patrick visiting, it is a definite must for any trip to Biloxi, but watch out! They're closed on Mondays.


The Hands On Biloxi Mural

BreadCrab and BreadGator!


At first look when you are rolling by John Henry Beck Park on Division Street (the arguable main drag of East Biloxi, it may look a bit foreboding. There is a tall black fence flanking the main gate on the north side which can be a bit of a visual deterrent, but once you get inside the park, there are a ton of opportunities for people of all ages. The GCCDS and Hands On have both had their part in the radical improvements in the park since the storm as well as many volunteer groups including people from the great state of Minnesota who created a shade structure for the playground (see below).


There are a couple of other great opportunities for the community to interact at the park, one of which is a set of plots for gardening that can be signed up for and tilled by residents and volunteers alike. An old structure dubbed the Red House on the grounds is being reinvigorated with the help of volunteer labor to become a community building to run programs out of in the park. There are basketball courts and small pavilions that are scattered around the park which bring ballers and grill masters to the park in the evenings and on weekends.


One of my projects currently is to work on a couple of new schemes for the park which is constantly evolving. They want to add a small concessions/lavatory building which has been designed by the Design Center's David Perkes and eventually a sort of outdoor market bay series which can act as shade structures, seating, and a venue for a farmer's market. Once I get some of that work done next week, I'll toss some sketches up and y'all can write nasty things about them :).

Anyhoo, that's about it for the park. More excitement to come tomorrow as I'll have a full rundown of the first ever Hands On- Americorps Olympics!