Thursday, April 30, 2009

Old Mobile

Mobile has tons of beautiful old homes. Most of the homes are located downtown. There are over 100 homes/buildings on the National Historic Registry in Mobile, and probably three times more than that, that are not registered. Some of the homes are mind blowing. Each old home has an amazing story to tell. Historians around these parts can tell you everything about these homes, who built them. what they did etc. There are many interesting stories about these homes from the Civil War. Lots of them were used as make shift hospitals for wounded soldiers. If walls could talk, these houses would have a lot to say.
These photo were taken my senior year of college with 35mm. I wasn't lucky enough to have a digital camera then. All images are scanned in.
Just from living here all my life, I gathered a lot of info from just looking at these houses. Most all of them a Spanish, French, or Colonial style....with a few Queen Anne's thrown in. Everything about these houses is done a certain way for reason. Example: Every porch on older homes was always painted light blue. Owners believed that if they painted the ceiling under the porches blue, that wasps would not build nests there (they would think it was the sky). Still to this day a lot of people in the South paint theirs light blue...just an Old South thing. Most of the grand houses sit on Government Street. They are big and bold. I can only imagine the more wealthy lived on Government Street. Dauphin Street has a lot of nice homes as well, but they are not a grand as the ones a few streets over (but I would have any of them). All of the houses you see here are on Government St., and Dauphin St. The historic district is comprised of several areas. Government St. is part of the Historic Oakleigh Garden District. Dauphin St. is part of Lower Dauphin Historic District and Old Dauphin Way District. These district cover an expansive area.
Every day 100's of people drive down these busy thorough fares and never take the time to look at these magnificent homes. I however, am usually the one running off the road trying to look at them! No matter how many times I go downtown, I am still blown away. I always manage to see a house that I have never seen before.
Every Spring and Christmas several of these homes are on the Historic District Garden Tour, or the Historic Christmas Tour of Homes. It is really a sight to see. (slide show of this at the bottom)
These homes have certain building codes to abide by since they are on the Historic Registry. They are only allowed to use certain colors, and those colors must be approved by the board. They are very particular about what they can and cannot do. I feel otherwise. I know members of this board, and some of the things they make home owners do is asinine. If you want fiberglass columns...go for it, but no, the board wants to them to have real wood. Termites people...ever heard of them. It is a wonder that the termites haven't eaten every one of these houses up. We like to refer to the Historical Society as the Hysterical Society.
So here are a few of the hundreds of beautiful homes in downtown Mobile. I do not know the names of all of them, but they all have names. They are generally named after the people that built them. Hope you enjoy them Bragg Mitchell Mansion is a popular pick for weddings
I like this green one...they did something different and didn't follow the crowd!
This is the Tacon-Tissington-Barfield Mansion, built in 1901. This my all time favorite. I have been in this home and it is UNREAL. It is a true Queen Anne. What a beauty she is.
You can go to this website for a great photo album of the Home & Garden Tour from 2007. The Tacon-Tissington-Barfield mansion is on the tour.


Prospero said...

These homes are amazing to look at and I'm sure the home and garden tours must be very popular. Judging by the look of these properties, the "Hysterical" Society must be doing something right.

Dirt Princess, I live in Bermuda. My house is at approximately 85 feet above sea level and offers a panoramic view of the Great Sound where the cruise ships dock. The last picture on my post is taken from the kitchen. The property is etched on a series of hills, plateaus and enclosures, where I have several micro gardens and a few larger ones. I guess you would have known where I'm from if I had a chance to sign your guest book, so I'll do that now.

Darla said...

Love that brick entryway......they are all spectacular!

Kim and Victoria said...

Beautiful! I especially love that they have all those old trees around them still.

Outside In said...

Wow beautiful Mansions and Houses, they are so charming. About 7 years ago I visited Mobile and Winfield, my mom was brought up in Winfield but born in Jasper. My sister and I were researching our family tree at the time. Alabama sure has lots of charm.

Dirt Princess said...

Prospero - The Hysterical Society does a good job...they just tend to freak out a bit. Well it is just beautiful where you live. I can't wait to see more! And I would love for you to sign my guestbook :)

Darla - thats a lot of brick

K&V - These trees are anywhere from 150-200+ yrs old if not older. They are amazing.

Outside In- If you come back to Mobile, or near here you better let me know!

Dirt Princess said...

K&V- this guest book is great. I like to see where everyone is from...puts it in perspective. Example - I see that you and Heather live close together. See I never knew that.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Nice houses... I wonder how much each one cost.. Hmmm.. ~ bangchik

Dirt Princess said...

Bangchik & Kakdah - Most of them start around $400,000 and the bigger ones get up into the million dollar range.

Debbie said...

LOVED the historical home tour. Beautiful. Wish I was there.

tina said...

Beautiful homes all. I've never been to Mobile to visit, just passing through but I can imagine it as similar to New Orleans. Steeped in history and magic.

Melanie said...

Hah! I used to live in a house that looked a lot like the first one - but surrounded with azaleas!

I love the old southern homes. I used to tour them sometimes when I lives in Charleston, and when I made a visit out to Lousiana (it was a plantation outside of New Orleans)

Thank you for sharing this beauty.

Laura Trevey said...

Beautiful Homes .... wow... thanks for your kind words on MyMothersGarden blog... it brought me to yours :)

RainGardener said...

Hey lady, just checking in from my little 'R&R' to see what you're up to. I LOVE old Queen Annes - ok I LOVE old houses - BIG old houses. You have some real beauties here. That IS a lot of brick but it's beautiful! When I sigh and say I'd love to have a big old house Bob always says but you can't keep up the small one you have now. I tell him that if I can afford one of those big old houses - I'll be able to afford a maid! hehehe
If my Dad is clear of all danger we will be going to Eureka, CA in a couple of weeks for a short trip. I LOVE going around taking pictures of all the old houses there. Like you, I'm the one driving off the road while looking at the beauty of each of them. In fact I have to get another card for my camera so I can take a kazillion pictures.
Thanks DP for stopping by and for all of your support. I'm better all ready! Linda Oh and your neighbors place is great - had to go read that and look at all of the pictures.

Kim and Victoria said...

I have Bilbo and will be posting him tomorrow as soon as I get a pic of he and I together.

Heather said...

What a neat place to live. The history of my area is so rustic and not so refined. I love old architecture and more so when it is something I don't get to see often. Thanks for sharing!

marmee said...

it is great to live in such a historic area...i love old building that have such a rich story to tell...we have a lot of wonderful places around here too.

Susie said...

Those homes are beautiful. They remind me of lots of homes in Atlanta.

Like your new signature, very cute!

Dirt Princess said...

Debbie - I wish you were too! We could have some fun!

Tina - They are very similar. But I think Mobile is more "family" oriented

Melanie - how lucky you are! Old houses are beautiful, but the maintenance is not fun. I would like to build a house that looks old!

Laura- Thanks for visiting.

RG - You crack me up!!! I agree, if I could afford a big house...I would have a maid. And I wouldn't work..I would just garden! You have fun in Eureka! Can't wait to see the pics. Glad you are better ;)

Heather - I love old architecture too. Glad you enjoyed it.

marmee - I am glad you visited with me. I bet you do have great places in TN.

Susie - Atlanta, New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah and Charleston have a lot of similarities. A lot of the same architects/builders build the houses in all of those areas. Glad you like my signature :)

Jamie and Randy said...

Oh Wow! The last three are my favorites, I couldn't imagine the price of the up-keep on them.--Randy

Becca's Dirt said...

I always like to see the Old Mobile Homes. They are some awesome houses outside and in.

Please sign my guest book :)




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