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Old 02-26-2011, 06:41 PM
Location: Reston, VA
124 posts, read 277,165 times
Reputation: 96


Thanks to the many helpful Mississippian's who are so generous in answering the questions of outsiders like me, I've learned about the beautiful Central Historic District in Laurel. The neighborhood looks so beautiful in pictures! It has just the kind of domestic architecture I love. It makes me wish I could retire tomorrow and move to Laurel. Maybe some day.....

I've read a lot of good things about Laurel, but I have one concern: crime. Laurel's crime statistics look quite bad compared to other Mississippi cities of Laurel's size (See crime statistics for cities in Mississippi at Table 8 (Mississippi) - Crime in the United States 2009). I couldn't find a crime mapping tool for Laurel to see whether crime is city-wide or more localized. Can anyone tell me whether the Central Historic District would be a safe place to live in retirement? Do any other Mississippi cities have neighborhoods similar to Laurel's Central Historic District?
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:32 PM
1,098 posts, read 3,108,704 times
Reputation: 1066
The historic district in Laurel really is pretty, with the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art being right at the center. The historic neighborhoods transition toward the north and northwest to contemporary homes with beautiful spacious yards, huge trees, and rolling hills. It's very nice. For the record, given the question about safety, there were apparently zero murders in the entire county in 2010.

Other towns with pretty and sizeable historic districts: Ocean Springs (coastal bungalows), Pass Christian (beachside mansions), Hattiesburg (Victorians), Brookhaven (elegant Victorian, Queen Annes), Natchez (antebellum, Victorian), Vicksburg (turn of the century electic), Jackson (1920s and 30s Belhaven), Meridian (hilly, 1920s and 30s), Columbus (antebellum and Queen Anne), Oxford (antebellum and Queen Anne), Corinth (beautiful of all types), Greenwood (elegant), and Kosciusko(Victorians).
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:51 PM
Location: Reston, VA
124 posts, read 277,165 times
Reputation: 96
Default Another great post by "brickpatio"

Brickpatio, your posts are priceless! You have single-handedly piqued my curiosity and interest in Mississippi and its towns. Owing to your recommendations, I'm dying to visit Corinth, Brookhaven, Natchez, Laurel, and on and on....

My very favorite architectural style is the southern cottage style typified by the creole cottages and shotgun houses in and around New Orleans (though I've never been to Louisiana either!). Is it possible to find those styles anywhere in Mississippi? The bungalows in Ocean Springs sound intriguing, but did many of them survive Katrina et al.?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:24 PM
1,098 posts, read 3,108,704 times
Reputation: 1066
Here's a quick breakdown:

Ocean Springs - Perfect location on a corner where the bay meets the ocean. Ocean Springs has a bit of elevation and was largely spared destruction in Katrina except for some of the homes directly on the water. The downtown area is several blocks inland, with tree-lined streets between downtown and the beach. The Live Oaks which arch over the streets are exquisite. The houses are mostly cottages of different types, some modest and some more elegant. It does have a bit of a New Orleans feel but without the edgyness and of course with its own little community beach.

Pass Christian - runs for about 6 or 7 miles along the gulf. Most of this town runs immediately along the beach highway and one street inland that runs parallel. Historically these mansions were built by families from New Orleans so the architecuture is similar (french doors etc). Pass Christian took a direct hit in both Camille and Katrina but many of the homes have been redone and look beautiful. Pass Christian was originally a yachting community and today the marina is quite beautiful.

Bay St. Louis was hit even harder in Katrina. The downtown is has made a bit of a comeback. The main road that runs along the bay and curves around along side the beach is a beautiful drive. They have reconstucted large portions of it and some of the homes are redone and beautiful. Inland the main street for 2 or 3 blocks has small cottages converted into restraurants and artsy shops. The residential portion of Bay St. Louis has some surviving cottages painted in pastels, some new homes built on stilts, and some open lots. Many of the streets have been reconstructed. For someone who is artsy and laid back, this is heaven on earth.

Natchez - Natchez has the most antebellum homes of any city in America. This is where the huge mansions with white columns that you see in pictures are located. Downtown is charming and there are beautiful mansions within a couple of blocks of downtown as well as in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Natchez isn't known for its Victorian homes but in fact just blocks from the downtown area there's a whole neighborhood of them. Very, very elegant. Natchez thinks of itself as a mini-New Orleans.

Oxford - Impossibly quaint and beautiful college town.

Vicksburg - Vicksburg is gritty like New Orleans and beautiful old homes intermingle block by block with run-down shotgun shacks, although some of these shotguns are repainted and cleaned up and are very charming. Vicksburg has the beautiful military park lined with huge monuments and ending with a beautiful view 300 feet above the Mississippi River. Just south of downtown is the main residential district along Drummond Street and Chambers street. This area is very eclectic and has a strong influence from the post Victorian era, roughly 1900 to 1915, with big porches and large roof overhangs etc.

Brookhaven - charming little downtown on either side of the railroad tracks that's actually pretty lively with shopping. Adjacent to downtown, along and around Natchez Avenue, are absolutely gorgeous old homes, many on huge lots. This is not a New Orleans look; this town feels much cleaner perhaps almost a hint of New England in its residential area.

Greenwood - Greenwood is considered the queen of the Delta. While the main commercial through town is unsightly, the downtown area along the river is charming and recently got a boost with the 4-star Alluvian hotel and spa built by the Viking Range corporation. The restaurant within the hotel does have a New Orleans feel. Just across the river is known as North Greenwood. Along Grand Ave are beautiful homes of different styles. This neighborhood does have slightly similar feel to St. Charles Ave in New Orleans but sort of the small town version.

Columbus - Second most antebellum homes in Mississippi after Natchez. This is not really creole style but rather traditional Greek Revival (two stories with white columns etc) and also a large section of elegant Queen Anne cottages. The homes run just south and just north of the quiet but quaint and clean downtown area.

Corinth - Classically charming, the historic residential district just north of the small and somewhat charming downtown has a bit of a New England feel also, very clean and pretty.
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