Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District

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Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District
Centennial Plaza (Gulfport, MS).jpg
Gulfport Veterans Administration
Medical Center Historic District
in 2005
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District is located in Mississippi
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center location in Mississippi
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District is located in the US
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District
Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District (the US)
Location200 Beach Blvd, Gulfport, Mississippi
Coordinates30°22′41″N 89°03′08″W / 30.37806°N 89.05222°W / 30.37806; -89.05222Coordinates: 30°22′41″N 89°03′08″W / 30.37806°N 89.05222°W / 30.37806; -89.05222
Area48 acres (19 ha)
Built1920 to 1950
Architectural styleSpanish Colonial Revival
NRHP reference #13001080[1]
USMS #047-GLF-2400-NR-ML
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJanuary 15, 2014[1]
Designated USMSJuly 23, 2010[2]

Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District, also known as Centennial Plaza, is a 48-acre (19-ha) compound located in Gulfport, Mississippi.[3] The facility operated as a medical center under the Veterans Administration from the 1920s until 2005, when damage from Hurricane Katrina resulted in its closure.[4] The property was designated a Mississippi Landmark in 2010 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

History[edit]

Development of the property began in 1916, when it was selected as the site for Mississippi's centennial statehood celebration.[3] The centennial exposition was set to open in the autumn of 1917, but with the advent of World War I, the event was never held.[4]

In support of the war, Mississippi leased the property, including the temporary centennial exhibition buildings, to the U.S. Navy for use as a training facility.[3] When the war ended, the U.S. Public Health Service took over the lease, and in 1921, opened a hospital for neuropsychiatric care of military servicemen. In 1922, the hospital was transferred to the U.S. Veterans' Bureau. That same year, the Bureau purchased the property from the State of Mississippi and began construction of several buildings that were completed in 1923. As time passed, medical services increased and additional buildings were constructed to accommodate more veterans.

The medical center continued to operate into the 21st century, but closed after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge caused the collapse of one structure and flooding of the other buildings to a depth of 4 feet (1.2 m). Following storm cleanup, the Veterans Administration transferred the property to the City of Gulfport in 2009.[4]

Contributing resources[edit]

The historic district contains twelve contributing resources, ten of which are historic buildings that were constructed between 1920 and 1950 in Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style. The historic buildings were constructed using poured concrete, terra cotta brick with stucco finishes, and terra cotta tile roofs.[3] In the post-hurricane cleanup, the interiors of all ten buildings were gutted in preparation for future renovation.

The two contributing resources that are not buildings include the main entry gates and the site landscape which incorporated southern live oaks around the perimeter of each building. The ten historic buildings are as follows:[3]

Location of historic buildings within the Medical Center campus
Description Building
No.
Year
constructed
Main medical building B1 1923
Kitchen & dining hall B2 1923
Ward B B3 1923
Ward C B4 1923
Ward D B5 1923
Infirmary B41 1937
Hospital building B57 1946
Ward G B62 1931
Chapel B63 1931
Administration building B64 1931

Future plans[edit]

Proposed development of the property as a community oriented marketplace, utilizing existing buildings, is expected to include retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels.[5]

Mississippi bicentennial celebration[edit]

The bicentennial celebration for south Mississippi was held at Centennial Plaza on March 31 and April 1, 2017.[6] During the event, the U. S. Postal Service introduced a first-day-of-issue forever stamp to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Mississippi statehood.[7] Approximately 25,000 people attended the two-day celebration.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Park Service listing of properties for the National Register of Historic Places (January 24, 2014) Retrieved 2014-02-12
  2. ^ "Mississippi Landmarks" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Archives and History. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  3. ^ a b c d e National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form−Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District Retrieved 2014-02-11
  4. ^ a b c Biloxi Veterans Affairs Medical Center−A Historical Perspective Retrieved 2014-02-11
  5. ^ Plan in the works to bring new life to Centennial Plaza Retrieved 2014-02-14
  6. ^ Steve Phillips (March 31, 2017). "Thousands enjoy day 1 of Bicentennial Celebration". WLOX (Raycom Media). Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  7. ^ Roy Betts (March 31, 2017). "Happy Birthday Mississippi! - Postal Service Issues New Forever Stamp Celebrating Mississippi Statehood's 200th Anniversary". GlobeNewswire, Inc. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  8. ^ Kristen Durand (April 4, 2017). "Bicentennial Celebration Appreciation". WXXV25 ( WXXV-TV and Morris Networks of Mississippi). Retrieved 2017-05-31.