The LaPointe Krebs House in Pascagoula, Miss., has been awarded the highest distinction from the Southeastern Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) –The Best of the South (BOTS) Preserving Southern Excellence Award for 2023.
The BOTS committee was impressed with the overall scope of the project and the tenacity of those involved, as indicated in the award letter sent to LaPointe Krebs by Joss Kiely, M. Arch, Ph.D., of SESAH:
“The rehabilitation and restoration of this venerable structure illustrates the development team’s ability to preserve a structure that was built in the mid-18th century (1757) and in spite of being located in a region prone to flooding and tropical cyclones, has weathered the test of time. The committee felt that, as a result, its condition was the most extreme and represented the most preservation-forward of the projects. The committee was equally impressed by the attention to historic detail and preservation methods, reintroducing tabby construction and bousillage, the latter of which is very locally specific and not well known by people outside the region. Furthermore, the project also has multiple educational aspects including a museological agenda and a biannual event, the Lime Burn, which generated publicity for the project and preservation of early French explorations, which while critically important for the region’s history, have often been overshadowed by innumerable Anglo-American preservation projects.”
Each year, this award is granted to a recipient to honor a project that preserves, rehabilitates, or restores a historic property in an outstanding manner and demonstrates excellence in research, design, and execution. On September 29, 2023, Alice Baker, one of the LaPointe-Krebs foundation board members, traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, to accept the award on behalf of the LaPointe Krebs House and Museum.
SESAH is made up of 12 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
According to Lori Miller, board member for the LaPointe-Krebs Foundation, this House plays an integral role in the history of our community, state, and region, and is a vital asset in drawing recognition and tourism to the area.
Also known as “Old Spanish Fort” or “Old French Fort,” it was built during the French Colonial period in 1757 on the shore of Lake Catahoula near what is now Pascagoula on land granted to French Canadian Joseph Simon dit La Pointe. It is the oldest scientifically dated building in Mississippi and is likely the oldest house between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. It is the only remaining example of tabby concrete construction on the entire Gulf Coast and is a very important example of architectural history. It has been designated as a Mississippi landmark and is listed on the National Historic Register.
“Many hours of hard work and research have gone into the restoration efforts of LaPointe-Krebs House. Numerous individuals and groups have generously dedicated their time and resources to complete this project. On behalf of the Foundation board members, we are very appreciative of all those who have supported this preservation and restoration,” Miller said.
For more information about the LaPointe Krebs House and Museum, visit the website at: lapointekrebs.org
Address: 4602 Fort Street, Pascagoula, MS 39567. Phone: 228-471-5126
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: adults $5, age 65+ & military* $4, ages 5-15 $3
*Active duty and retired military members enjoy free admission between Armed Forces Day and Labor Day