Architectural Diversity in Mobile's Historic Districts3/2/2015
First of all, I hope everyonewho attended Mardi Gras in Mobile and elsewhere had an amazing time! I know I definitely did. I attended The Military Mardi Gras and LaShe balls and they were a total blast. It’s always fun to get dressed up and let loose! With all of the events associated with Mardi Gras that have been going on this last month, I’ve gotten to thinking a lot about the history of Mobile and, more specifically, the architecture and neighborhoods here. These stories and historic neighborhoods are part of the very old and gorgeous fabric that makes up our wonderful little city and I think they are worth a quick conversation, especially as real estate in these areas is very unique and sought after!
Mobile began as the Capital of French Louisiana in 1702, way before the United States was even an idea. Over the next century it came under both Great Britain’s and Spain’s rule before the US obtained it during the War of 1812. By 1817 Mobile was officially part of the Alabama Territory. Just imagine the richly diverse architecture of the city in 1817 after having been ruled by three world powers of the time, all three with vastly different styles. I imagine it was one of the most gorgeous cities this country has ever seen around this time period.
Three major fires in the 1800s destroyed many of the city’s original buildings but didn’t stop the immense growth of our city. Huge amounts of people were flocking to Mobile and the city had tripled in size by the 1950s. This led to “urban renewal” in the 1960s and 70s which, unfortunately, destroyed the original character of lots of the remaining historic buildings. Finally in the 1980s the Mobile Historic Commission was established and set out to regain and restore much of the cities rich architectural history as part of the String of Pearls Initiative.
Mobile’s historic homes mostly come from what we call the Antebellum Era or the time before the American Civil War. Officially, the styles of historic homes in Mobile fall under the categories of Italiante, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, Federal, Queen Anne Revival, Creole Cottage and Gulf Coast Cottage. Mobile has seven historic districts that are highly sought after by buyers. Below I’ve listed these districts along with their architectural styles and a bit about their time period:
- Ashland Place Historic District: Mainly comprised of homes from the early 1900s in Victorian and Craftsmen styles.
- Church Street East Historic District: Containing both residential and commercial buildings, there are Federal, Greek Revival, Italiante and Renaissance Revival homes in this area, dating back to the time period between the 1820-1900.
- De Tonti Square Historic District: Mainly residential with majority Federal, Italiante and Greek Revival architecture styles built between the 1840s and 1860s.
- Leinkauf Historic District: These homes were built between the 1820s and early 1900s with architecture styles focused mainly on Victorian to Craftsmen.
- Lower Dauphin Historic District: Like Leinkauf, these homes range from the 1820s to the early 20thcentury with architectural styles rooted in Federal, Greek Revival, Italiante and other Victorian varieties.
- Oakleigh Garden Historic District: Homes dating from the 1820s to 1940s and ranging from Greek Revival to Italianate to Queen Anne styles.
- Old Dauphin Way Historic District: Mobile’s largest historic district dates back from the mid-1800s to early 1900s. It includes homes in the Queen Anne, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Craftsmen styles.
Reading about the history of our beloved little city makes me so proud to be a part of it and I hope it does for you too! Mobile is so rich in architectural history it’s no wonder that people love to buy homes here. You can view some of the homes that we have for sale in various historic districts here!