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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mobile Historic Homes Tour

Okay, so you need a little money to live in one of these homes, what's the big deal??? :) Yesterday, with Dick & Pat, we toured 8 homes and 3 churches in one of the historic districts of Mobile. One of the neat things on the tour was that at each of the homes there were young women, seniors from local high schools, dressed in period costumes, to greet us.

Most of the homes were just gorgeous, decorated by interior designers and lived in by some "beautiful people." Actually, many of the owners were at home during our tour, and that was kinda cool to meet them. I was certainly impressed that they would agree to have so many strangers tromping through their home. I had not realized that these homes would be lived in; I guess I figured they were museums or something. Shows what I know. Anyway, here are the pictures of the houses and churches, with many more pictures of their interiors and gardens on our Webshots website. Enjoy!

Before we began the actual home tour, we went to the Oakleigh, home of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society.
Oakleigh was founded in 1833 by James Roper with a Spanish land grant. Its name comes from the magnificent trees are the property. The home's style, decor, and gardens reflect the antebellum life in Mobile.

Our first stop on the home tour
was 159 Michigan Avenue, which was built in 1907. It is currently owned by a professional photographer and ballerina. Both were at home and very gracious. This house had been built in one location and moved to its present location in 1956.

Next, we went to the first church on our tour, St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church.
It was built in 1925. However, the parish had been established in 1920, just a few months after the Catholic Church had declared Joan of Arc a saint. As with most older churches, the sanctuary was just beautiful, with many stained glass windows.

Our next home was one of the smaller ones on the tour,
but no less impressive. It was built in 1915. We met one of the owners and she seemed so thrilled to have us all in her home. It was very inviting and warm. One of its neat characteristics was that its staircase went up one flight to a platform, then you could either turn to the left (if coming from the foyer) to go up stairs or go straight through and down to the back of the house. Kinda neat.

Just a block down from our third stop,
was the next home which was built in 1905. This house was just gorgeous and its gardens were, too. It has a huge wraparound porch where you could just move around during the day to stay in the shade. Again, the owners were home and welcomed us as if we were old friends. How nice!

Our last stop for the morning was the second church on the tour.
All Saints Episcopal Church was founded in 1909, having evolved from a union of 26 members from 3 different 19th century churches. Again, walking into the sanctuary was a retreat from the noise of the world outside. This church had a double pipe organ - at least that's what it looked like to me as there were pipes on either side of the altar area. More stained glass windows lined both sides of the sanctuary, depicting the life of Christ. Why is it we feel the presence of God so much inside a church? He's everywhere we are, right? Gotta work on that.

After walking all over Mobile - not really, but tell that to our knees - we stopped for a quick lunch and rest. Then, it was on to the afternoon part of the tour and 4 more homes and 1 more church.

The first home in the afternoon was a mansion - at least that's what its name inferred.
It was the Tacon-Tissington-Barfield Mansion, built in 1901 and considered by many to be the best example of Victorian architecture in Mobile. The first thing you notice upon entering this home is the gorgeous staircase to the right. The woodwork in this home is just beautiful.

We went to the last church on the tour next.
Government Street United Methodist Church, also known as "The Beehive," has a history dating back to 1819. But, the current building's construction began in 1906 and completed in 1917. It has two beyond-beautiful stained glass domed ceilings and the front of the building is ornate in its baroque details. Very impressive. Inside, it is a small sanctuary with yet another pipe organ! This church was nicknamed "The Beehive" because of its congregation's activity - swarming out into the community. Hey, I don't make this stuff up!!

Our next three stops were houses just a block away from one another - two of them across the street from each other. That was great news for our legs!

Augusta Street was built in 1872
and upon entering we were greeted by the one of owners of the house. She actually introduced herself to us, the first owner to do so, which was very nice. This house also has a beautiful front porch on, complete with a swing! When we went outside in the back of the house, we met her husband as well. This backyard, as we found in many of the homes, was so well done that it could easily have passed for part of the living space in the home.

We then went across the street to the smallest house on the tour,
and my least favorite. It was built in 1869, so it was next to the oldest on the tour, and was actually a nice house, but the owner had filled it way past capacity, in my humble opinion. But, as most of you know, decorating is not my strongest suit! The cool thing at this house was that it had a koi pond in its gardens!

Lastly, we came to Twelve Oaks.
Built in 1867-68, it is the oldest home on the tour and is currently undergoing a major renovation/restoration. At the moment, due to the construction, the owners are not living in it. The house as it stands today is not as large as it was originally built, having been moved to a new lot in the 1930s, so a large rear wing was removed and placed on a separate lot. Didn't see that part of the house.

That ends our tour. Hope you enjoyed it! Please be sure to take a look at the pictures on Webshots, I have to say that, as gorgeous as all of these homes are, I have no desire to live in any of them. They are fun to tour, but I'll take my little trailer any day. Of course, that's easy to say since there's no way we could ever have afforded any of these homes!! But, I'm still happy as can be in our RV. Hey, that rhymes! Aren't I somethin'! :)

Take care. Going to Fairhope to the Arts Festival & the local Lutheran Church's annual German Sausage Dinner. Randy's pick, not mine! More pictures to come!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Sounds like a wonderful tour, however, I never knew there were historic mobile homes! Just think what yours will be worth in about 100 years!