Art and Gifts in Biloxi

On Feb. 14, 2008, Gallery 782 Co-Art was begun by a group of committed community members and local artists. Located in an area of historic Biloxi known as the Rue Magnolia Art District, visitors can view original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass, gift items and much more as well as visit with one of the artist members.

Gallery 782 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Artist members not only display art work but are involved in providing workshops for adults and children and doing outreach projects to promote the visual arts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast — Art Reach: Watering the Arts. A committed board and talented artists are dedicated to making Gallery 782 a coast "destination."

A Biloxi Historic House

The Scherer House at 782 Water Street, known as the Casa Española has conflicting construction dates from 1780 to 1840. John Scherer, originally from Switzerland, bought the house in 1849 and lived there until 1894. The house faces Water Street, a thoroughfare not opened until the 1840s. It is similar in form to houses built in Mobile and New Orleans.

The brick cornice and the type of exterior trim are purely 19th century details. The interior trim, including mantles is basically Greek Revival. The stepped gables are the most unusual feature of the house and are a practically unprecedented use of this detail on the Gulf Coast. The reason for their use is unknown. An interesting feature of the main façade is the narrow upstairs balcony, which stretches across the entire front of the house. This balcony was found intact when the late 19th century two story porch was removed during a restoration. The interior end chimneys are an especially rare feature in Biloxi. The house is also unusual in that it is brick and has two stories. The house is also the only early stuccoed brick building in the city, the stucco being scored to resemble ashlar masonry. There is one feature that is typical of later buildings, and as this is the first fully developed example of the four-bay front in Biloxi, the Scherer House takes on an added significance. The four-bay front, with doors in the central two bays, was later to become a standard feature for the Creole and Biloxi Cottage vernacular house types.

The building is one of the few buildings of this era to survive Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005 which makes it one of the three oldest structures in Biloxi. The house had roof damage and 4 feet of water inside which resulted in downstairs floor boards having to be replace or restored.