Downtown Gulfport Streetscape Plan
Images of downtown Gulfport, Mississippi, featuring a wide boulevard lined with palm trees and street lamps will soon no longer be limited to vintage postcards. When Hurricane Katrina left much of this Gulf Coast city's historic downtown under water, city officials decided to transform devastation into opportunity. Less than five years later, the results are emerging. The Downtown Gulfport Streetscape Project is a $7.6 million effort to give the area a facelift and drive new business investment.
HDR focused on maintaining the area's historical integrity in designing streetscape improvements that preserved structures dating to the late nineteenth century that remained intact despite severe blows from Hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005. The restoration of downtown Gulfport will recreate the thriving port city, envisioned by city founders a century earlier. The project is funded as a Community Development Block Grant, a program managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HDR incorporated design elements to create a downtown walkable community, with wide sidewalks, on-street parking, state-of-the-art crosswalk controls and extended curbs, all handicapped accessible. The main boulevard will be landscaped with palm and shade trees and a World War II memorial will be restored.