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Government St., Mobile: A Great Historic Street (Pt. 1)

2014-09-04 17.49.23

I haven't heard anybody else say this, especially in the local area, but Government Street in Mobile, Alabama is one the most spectacular historic streets in the world, even today. I had a chance to walk a good portion of Government St. in March of this year and was blown away at all the historic architecture of the Government buildings, churches and homes that line this  street. It's the combination of commercial and residential buildings, plus the trees, all on one street that's so impressive. I came back to Mobile this September to take some photos and see more.


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Although a few gaps in beauty occur with some newer buildings, a lot of them were built to blend in with the neighborhoods.  I'll need several more trips to see this grand street, which goes through different historic neighborhoods.


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Not all the buildings are fully restored—which adds to charm and potential. The street is still under-appreciated by some and I'm surprised it's not more of an attraction for tourists. It's like it's hiding in plain view.


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My piece today will focus on the historic mansions and some of the history of the street.  Part two will focus on the public buildings and churches. The street historically has been, and still is, full of government activity.
         Map from Wikimedia, Adrien de Pauger
Fort Conde was built by the French to guard Mobile from Spanish or British attack. This fort was built in 1723 and lasted until 1820. Throughout that almost hundred year history , France, Britain, Spain and the US all had possession of the fort. In 1820, the US Congress authorized the sale and removal of the fort because it was no longer was needed for defense. City funds paid for the demolition to make way for new streets and construction built towards the river and southward, including Government St. They used use the stone and brick from the demolished fort to fill in the marshland By 1823, most above ground buildings of  Fort  Conde were gone.


The portion of  Routes 90 and 98 called Government St. and Government Blvd. in Mobile is the only thoroughfare in Mobile to cross both Interstate 65 and 10 within city limits. It'a a 4-lane highway. It's known as Government St. east of Pinehill Dr. and Government Blvd. west of it. I'll be concentrating on the Government St. portion, approximately 3.6 miles .


          Photo Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


 I found it hard to believe, but Government Street was even more spectacular in the

19th century and early 20th century. It was the finest street in Mobile and was known as Millionaires' Row because of all the mansions.  A lot of the larger mansions were demolished as late as the 1980's.


Take my advice: If you like historic buildings, put Government St.  on your travel list! Here are more photos for you to enjoy!


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Comments (3)

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Fascinating look at some American history Rob.

I enjoy seeing the similarities in architecture.

Many European and American buildings share a common design.

It's always interesting to see where the style came from.

Each building has a story to tell.

Interesting subject Rob.

Thanks for the nice comments. Wait until you see the public buildings  on Government St in Part 2 ,equally as impressive! The houses above are  mainly private homes. A few homes on the street have offices in them. Some of the homes might make it on the historical homes tour once a year, but you'd have to check in advance .!homes/c1hpk

The Mobile area does have open to the public the Bellingraph Gardens and Home which is highly regarded and another place on my travel list.

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

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