Discover Coastal Alabama Winter 2019 - Page 17

Historic Homes of Mobile W ith its first settlers arriving in 1702, the city of Mobile is rich in history. There is no better way to experience that history than to experience the city’s beautiful historic homes. Mobile has several beautiful historic homes that you can tour, all awaiting the opportunity to showcase true southern hospitality for your family or group. Visit www.mobilebay. org/homes for more information, including group rates. Richards DAR House BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME The creation of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath. it was first opened to the public in 1932 while a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the paper, announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. After overwhelming response, the couple decided to keep the gardens open year-round, beginning in 1934. Tour the Bellingrath Home, complete with its original furnishings and Mrs. Bellingrath’s extensive collection of decorative arts. Built in 1935, the 10,500 square foot home was designed by prominent architect, George B. Rogers. Additionally, take a 45-minute cruise along the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle between March and November. Passengers are given an entertaining account of birding habits, ecological systems and area history. BRAGG-MITCHELL MANSION Canopied by a grove of century-old oaks and furnished with fine antiques and crystal chan- deliers, the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion offers a rare glimpse of life in the Old South. When built in 1855, the house was the center of the lively social life when Mobile was a thriving cotton port. As one of the most photographed buildings in Mobile, the Mansion is an architectural icon that evokes a time of gracious living and socializing. An example of Greek Revival architecture, its distinct floor plan and details make it stand out among historic buildings in the area. RICHARDS DAR HOUSE Steamboat Captain Charles G. Richards and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth Steele, built this as their dream house in 1860. Decorated with lavish iron lace, this is one of Mobile’s finest ex- amples of the Italianate style. On the National Register, this beautiful townhouse tells the story of Mobile during its antebellum period. The Ideal Cement Company purchased the house from Richards’ descendants in 1946. After being turned over to the city of Mobile in 1973, the five Mobile Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution leased the home. The organization is responsible for furnishing and administering it as a Period House Museum. OAKLEIGH HISTORIC COMPLEX When Virginia cotton factor James W. Roper made his fortune in Mobile, his goal was to build a small Greek temple in an oak grove. With Oakleigh, Mobile’s Official Period House Museum since 1955, he created a T-shaped Greek revival mansion with unique architec- tural features including a distinct cantilevered front staircase, grand double parlors and gal- leries accessed CONDÉ-CHARLOTTE MUSEUM HOUSE Located on Theatre Street adjacent to Fort Condé, this is also known as the House of Five Flags. It is beautifully furnished with period antiques depicting Mobile’s history under French, English, Spanish, American and Confederate rule. Bellingrath Home and Gardens Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Oakleigh House Condé-Charlotte House DISCOVER COASTAL ALABAMA - WINTER 2019 17