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December 2, 2005

CW team to assess hurricane damage to historic homes on Mississippi Gulf Coast

A Colonial Williamsburg architectural conservation team arrives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Dec. 5 for a weeklong survey and assessment of historic buildings damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The region is home to a number of structures of historic significance dating from the antebellum period to the early 20th century, including the last home of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America.

Amidst growing pressure to raze what remains of important historic structures, the team will inspect a number of buildings in the Gulfport-Biloxi region either urrently on the National Register or eligible for inclusion. Working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the team will use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reporting standards to identify buildings and assess their condition.

They will document damage as structural or cosmetic and record their observations through the use of digital photography and laptop computers for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The Colonial Williamsburg team consists of Tom Taylor, director of architectural conservation; Roberta Laynor, manager of architectural collections; graduate interns Travis Fulk and Caroline Warner, and former intern Lindsey Hannah, who currently holds a Colonial Williamsburg fellowship in architectural conservation. The team is seeking an architect or architectural engineer to join them.

The team is jointly supported by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Colonial Williamsburg Department of Archaeological Research is providing a work vehicle and Colonial Williamsburg’s Department of Information Technology is providing laptop computers for recording the team’s observations.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., near Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281