White House restoration on target for August opening

meperez@sunherald.com Twitter: MaryPerezSHJuly 2, 2014 

BILOXI -- The restoration of White House Hotel on U.S. 90 is a production whose progress is watched daily by those driving past the historic property on U.S. 90 at White Avenue.

New columns now connect the original structure to what less than a year ago was a steel skeleton on the west side of the hotel.

The patio is tiled, furniture is being placed in the guest rooms and a new lawn was rolled out on the front of the property this week and Cono Caranna, general manager of the hotel and co-owner of Cora's Restaurant inside the resort.

He said crews will be planting colorful flowers on Monday.

Work on the swimming pool is nearly complete and Caranna said Wednesday, "They may be filling it today."

Kitchen equipment is going in, he said, and the restaurant is done now that crews finished installing 40 wines on tap.

He said the resort is still tentatively set to open Aug. 1.

The community will get a chance to see the restoration when the hotel hosts the city's 2014 Preservation Awards Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m.

A reception and tours will follow the awards presentations. The awards honor individuals, businesses and organizations that protect and promote local history and traditions.

"The awards ceremony always draws a big crowd, but will the added bonus of being at the White House Hotel, we are expecting record attendance," said Bill Raymond, Biloxi historical administrator/executive planner.

The White House sat empty for years before Barrington Development purchased the property and invested millions to restore it. The resort will have 76 rooms and will host weddings and events.

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