Beauvoir, the retirement home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis battered by Hurricane Katrina, is about to get a facelift. Workers are readying to embark on a $4 million renovation of the only national historic landmark that Katrina severely damaged on the Coast. The project is projected to take a year. Before Katrina, Beauvoir averaged about 100,000 visitors annually.
Built in 1852, Beauvoir was hit by the nine-foot tidal surge during Katrina, nearly destroying the house. Beauvoir had survived 21 hurricanes before Katrina, but Katrina flooded the interior with about a foot of water and ripped off the roof, the front porch, chimneys and pillars. The hurricane also damaged the library and a museum and washed away about one third of Beauvoir's artifacts. The core of the home is largely intact, however.
George Fore, an architectural conservator, is studying the home's painted walls and ceilings by chipping away layers of paint on the damaged frescoes. It is Fore's job to help recreate what the paintings looked like during the decade that Davis lived there.