Beauvoir to revisit history with new presidential library

Beauvoir is ready to open the doors to its $11.5 million presidential library and you’re invited.

The last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Biloxi, MS, will celebrate the opening of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library with a three-day celebration June 1 through 3. Events will include a Black Tie Gala, The Davis Family Reunion and Picnic and the official ribbon cutting and opening of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.

The 24,000-square-foot library, with its unique architectural designs, is the second presidential library built at Beauvoir. The first library, completed in 1996, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The new presidential library is the culmination of a seven-year- effort to restore Beauvoir’s structures and exhibits.

In fact, the new building, designed by architect Larry Albert of Albert & Associates of Hattiesburg, borrows design elements from the demolished buildings as well as the Beauvoir Mansion and 52-acre property.

For instance, the bronze statue of Davis, bronze Confederate Seal, quote wall at the front entry porch and guardrail design are from the demolished 1996 museum. The white brick of the new building honors the historic brick Confederate Hospital as well as being contextual with the existing and destroyed buildings at Beauvoir.

The library’s galleries are designed for flexibility and the use of state-of-the-art technology for the visitor experiences and interaction.

“This library will offer unlimited opportunities for educational and historical displays and events, exploring the rich heritage of Jefferson Davis and the Confederate soldier, ” said Beauvoir executive Director and Davis descendent Bertram Hayes-Davis. “This will become a center for the study of Jefferson Davis and Southern Heritage.”

Be a part of the celebration

The black tie gala: Bertram Hayes-Davis and his wife, Carol, will host a Black Tie Gala on the Beauvoir Grounds on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The gala dinner will be followed by dancing to The Coast Big Band. Tickets for the event are $125 per person and $200 per couple, and can be purchased by contacting Mrs. Butch Oustalet 228-234-4950 or via email at andioustalet@gmail.com

The reunion: The Davis Family Reunion takes place Sunday, June 2 at 1 p.m. on the grounds of Beauvoir with entertainment provided by Delta Reign and The Boogie Woogie Beauvoir Radio Show. Tickets are $25 per person. Children under 12 are free. To see the schedule of speakers for Sunday, click here.

The grand opening: On Monday, June 3 at 10 a.m. the public is invited to the official ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library. The ceremony will be followed by a celebration of the anniversary of the birth Jefferson Davis.

More info: For more about Beauvoir, visit beauvoir.org

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