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Great Southern: 1906

Gulfport, Mississippi, circa 1906. "Great Southern Hotel." Built 1902-03; demolished in 1951. Panorama of three 8x10 glass negatives. View full size.

Gulfport, Mississippi, circa 1906. "Great Southern Hotel." Built 1902-03; demolished in 1951. Panorama of three 8x10 glass negatives. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

People count

I count 9.... two on each of the "wing" porches or entries, the two on the right, one on same side just behind the building, somewhat blurred.... The ladder man, the seated man, and one in the window to the seated man's left, ground floor.Several geese and a dog!

Eight and counting

I see seven people without to "maybe" person in the carriage: two walking on the right side of the hotel, two lounging on the right porch, two on the left porch, the ladder man and one on the far left covered walkway. Are there more?

Gone but Not Forgotten...

I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and although the
Great Southern was torn down a year after I was born, there are still those down there to this day who speak of it in hushed tones (they're getting fewer and further between!). US Highway 49 runs east and west about where the south side of the building is in the picture and
the gravel road on the left side of the picture is now the main street of downtown Gulfport, 25th Avenue and also US Highway 49. When the hotel was torn down in the early 1950's, the developers built an entire block of "modern" commercial buildings that housed chain stores like Learners and TG&Y and some local businesses. All of these buildings were devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane, they leveled all the debris and the site was a vacant lot. Interestingly, the smokestack on the right side of the picture was the edge of the Great Southern power plant. Although modified, it still stands and up until the early 1990's was a Ford dealership for many years.
For any of those who want to colorize, the building was a deep green with white trim. It had a red terra cotta tile roof. This picture was taken shortly after it was built, but after several years, the grounds of the Great Southern were covered with lush vegatation -- azaleas, palms, live oak with fountains (pictured here) on both sides of the building. The water in front of the hotel is the Mississippi Sound, which opens into the Gulf of Mexico. Those tall ship masts you see right behind the hotel are at the fledgling Port of Gulfport, which had only been established around ten years earlier, thus the name of the city "Gulf Port". As homage to the past,
a local bank built a new office tower in the 1980's about two blocks from this site and established a members only private club on the top floor, which is called The Great Southern Club.

A Fine Southern Hostelry

I don't know how exceptional the fire proofing of this hotel was for the time but it appears to have paid off. A somewhat-rare example of an old hotel on Shorpy not lost to fire but to the wrecker.

The St. Louis Lumberman, January 1910.

A Fine Southern Hostelry.

We present a picture herewith of a hotel of which it has been well said that it is “fit for a king; good enough for a commoner.” Our reference is to the Great Southern Hotel at Gulfport, Miss., a splendid bit of architectural designing and a fine example of comfortable, if not luxurious, furnishing. This well-known hostelry fronts beautifully on the Gulf of Mexico over a space of 350 feet, is three stories high and has 250 guest chambers. Two wings of the building extend backward to a park, cared for by a landscape gardener.

Though a frame structure, such ample precautions against fire have been taken in its designing and construction as to practically do away with fire risk, The roofing is tile; the floors are double, with asbestos between each floor; the lathing is steel wire, and cement plastering has been used throughout the building. The house being heated by steam and lighted by electricity, no lamp is used in any part of it, and no fire of any character in any exposed position. In addition to these safeguards, the heating and cooking plants are segregated; there are standpipes on all floors, and an organized and well-drilled fire brigade is ready for service at almost a moment’s notice. The supply of water comes from a well 850 feet deep, and according to a chemist has curative properties for rheumatism and for kidney and other troubles.

Every guest chamber is equipped with a private telephone, hot and cold water and a private bath. The lobby and parlors are spacious and elegant. and the sun parlor fronts the sea. The large dining room is finished in Flemish oak, and looks out upon the Sound. The cuisine is directed by a chef who is famous for his productions, and the larder is stocked with the markets’ choicest products, including seafoods and luscious fruits.

The climate around Gulfport is a delightful one in winter, and there are many outdoor amusements to which the visitor can turn his hand, including fishing and boating. One can hardly find a more ideal place to spend a winter vacation than at and around Gulfport.

I wish Shorpy's was a time machine

I would pick a picture and be transported, at least for a little while. I wouldn't like to be the man on that ladder, though.

7 Humans?

I can spot 6 people for sure. But is that a person in the horse drawn carriage or some other object?

This picture makes me want a room facing the East, ocean view please.

There's just one word for this photo...


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