Storm Hits Historic Preservation

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

State and national historic preservation officials will tour the Mississippi Gulf Coast Monday with an eye toward reviving important structures that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, based in Washington, is a private, nonprofit group that helps preserve places that are architecturally or historically significant, from antebellum mansions to modest shotgun houses.

Officials say the trust is making $100,000 available in grants to help people on the Mississippi coast perform quick fixes to stabilize historic buildings before full-fledged renovation can be undertaken. That could mean drying out flooded structures or erecting scaffolding around shaky buildings.

Officials at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History say Katrina destroyed about one-fifth of Mississippi Gulf buildings that had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About 300 were obliterated and 1200 are still standing. The heaviest toll was along the beach, where the hurricane's brutal winds and 30-foot storm surge washed away many homes that predated the Civil War.

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