Location Information
(for the St. Michael's Catholic Church)
Name:St. Michael's Catholic Church
Address:177 First Street
City/County:Biloxi, Harrison County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:1964
Local Designation Information
Local District Name:Point Cadet Historic District
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Local Landmark Listing Date:07 Sep 2010
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St. Michael's Church was declared eligible for listing on the NRHP by FEMA in 2013, under Criterion A, 'Ethnic Heritage' and Criterion C, 'architecture'.
Brief Description
St. Michael's Church is located at 177 1st Street and is situated on the north side of Highway 90 in the Summerville Subdivision of Biloxi facing south. The 11,000 square foot church occupies the western portion of the city block, fronting Cedar Street. The two-story, concrete, cylindrical Contemporary church has a monolithic poured concrete scalloped shell roof. The construction includes a monolithic concrete frame, wood piles, a concrete floor on grade, and concrete columns along with the concrete shell roof. The interior space, which seats over 600 persons, features a freestanding altar devoid of columns or other structural elements. One-story, flat-roof vestibules with arc-shape plans provide entry on the north and south sides of the main sanctuary. The south vestibule connects to a one-story chapel, also boasting a concrete cylindrical form with a scalloped shell roof. The vestibules have concrete pilasters and square columns; steel-framed stained glass windows; rough-cut stone cladding, and a flat concrete roof. Thin concrete panels with pilasters run from ceiling to floor around the perimeters of the main sanctuary and chapel. Full-length modernistic stained glass windows sit between the concrete panels. The windows include a panorama with several large fishes and nets, reflective of the livelihood of many of the original parishioners of the church. A cross sits atop the main sanctuary, and a stone statue depicting St. Michael mounts the chapel.
Historic Information
The church was built in 1964 and was designed by the Jackson-based architect James T. Canizaro. Canizaro successfully took inspiration from the surrounding environment, focusing on forms, materials, and details that resemble elements of the sea and fishing, thereby honoring the livelihoods of past and current congregants. The modernistic feel of the architectural design provides a light airiness consistent with experiencing the ocean. The stained glass windows, encompassing approximately 4,000 square feet, were designed by Emil Frei Company out of St. Louis. The windows feature a panorama including images of fishes and nets.

The church was significantly damaged by both Hurricanes Camille & Katrina in 1969 & 2005. Rebuilding occurred after each disaster. The original stained glass designers assisted with restoration work.