Historical Preservation

Watermark takes pride in preserving history via structures that represent the architectural styles of artisans who came before us. Our work can be seen in two very different historic places along the Gulf Coast.

The Saenger Theater

The Saenger Theater, which originally opened in Mobile in 1927, was once hailed as “Alabama’s Greatest Showplace.” In the decades since, the theater has seen ups and downs as different owners, maintenance costs and other issues took a toll. In 2003-2004, the Saenger was restored and renovated to include electrical upgrades, a state-of-the-art sound system and more.  Watermark Design, along with Thompson Engineering, provided design and consulting services for the waterproofing of the building exterior. Upgrades included restoration of the marquee and canopy at the front entrance, as well as mortar removal, tuckpointing and repairs to the north wall. Watermark also provided design and consulting services for the renovation of interior areas including the men and women’s restrooms and the warming kitchen. At a recent Grand Reopening, guests lined the block waiting to enter the Saenger, proving that it may still remain “Alabama’s Greatest Showplace.”

The Swetman House

The historic Glenn L. Swetman House in Biloxi, Mississippi is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colonial Revival-style home was damaged by flooding and wind during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Watermark was brought in for both exterior and interior restoration work on the home.  All exterior work was completed in accordance with the Department of the Interior History Property Restoration guidelines, including the repair of cast iron railings, a door pulley system and damaged woodwork. Before repairs to the interior of the home, such as the refinishing of wood floors and repainting all interior walls and woodwork, Watermark facilitated mold remediation in the basement of the home and asbestos abatement in the damaged areas. The home is now in use by the City of Biloxi Department of Archives and History.

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