Monday, February 15, 2010

Mardi Gras in Mobile

Last week, work led me to the Gulf Coast of the Southeastern United States. Deep in Alabama and Mississippi to mea are the true "Deep South." The threat of impending snow during the trip, however, added a little something I wasn't expecting. Fortunately, though delayed considerably, my Friday evening flight still landed safely and I made it home. Travel during a snowstorm (or any other bad weather) and it is amazing how happy you feel when you walk in the door of your own home!
I especially enjoyed getting to see Mobile, Alabama, particularly during the Mardi Gras season. While often people think of New Orleans, Mobile actually holds the record for the first Carnival celebration, in 1703. The Carnival season culminates this Tuesday with Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras, french for Fat Tuesday). The celebration precedes Ash Wednesday, or the start of Lent.

My hotel kindly left me a gift of beads and a MoonPie.

You know I had to take a quick drive through the Historic District to catch a glimpse of the homes. I was surprised and delighted to find out how absolutely affordable they are- in comparison to Atlanta standards. The houses were constructed in a mix of styles and price points.
Here are two I captured and I must apologize for the poor photo quality. I love the inviting nature of this house and the lower side window pane suggests lots of great architectural details inside. This house, which sadly we can't see through the trees very well, but seems to have a gothic quality.

Since my photographs stunk (the others I did not upload were even worse), I poured over some real estate listings to share. This little number on Lafayette Street is on the market for $329k.

This Dauphin Street Beauty is less than $600 (I can't remember the exact figure). I especially love the second floor porch and the second building (pool house? guest house?). I would guess Queen Anne architectural style... Oh to have a glass-front Butler's Pantry...
Such detail on the mantle.
Very intricate woodwork.
Here it is! The little house!!

This cute little Arts and Crafts guy on Macy Place is less than $200k... I think there's probably lots of potential here but a good bit of work too.

This one on Houston is also less than $200k. Both houses are a bit smaller- less than 2,000 square feet- and likely could use some updates.

This house is just fabulous. And I think "only" $560k.

Love the staircase and doors here.
Another view of the stairs through the door... but a handsome room in its own right.Great light throughout the house and I love all the French doors and transom windows.

Note the yellow/purple/green flag flying in front of this Georgian Revival house.
My absolute favorite though is the house known as "Elephant Walk."
Yes, this little guy is in the Mardi Gras spirit, decked out with his beads.
The yard seems fabulous- lots of texture among the plantings.
I didn't find a lot of pictures of the interior, though the ones I found are quite delightful. I adore the coffered ceilings here and the wall color is just lovely.
The bay window, visible from the front of the house, provides a terrific seating area in the parlor.

That wraps up my tour of Mobile. I also saw loads of great places on the Gulf coast- you Florida beach ladies are quite fortunate!! I hope y'all are safe and warm and had a wonderful weekend!


PS- thanks to a reader email, I have learned that Zatarains is throwing "The World's Largest Mardi Gras Party." To learn more, simply click on the link. While I'm slightly saddened that I was not invited to host one... Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! (please note that I understand this is imperfect French).


  1. The Greek revival with the front porch. Wow.

  2. Thanks for the eye candy this morning girl! I love looking at historic homes. Glad you made it home safe and sound. xoxo

  3. Love the Elephant Walk house. And think I could actually afford some of these, should I move south?

  4. I love Mobile too. Glad you got home safely. This is the craziest weather year EVER! Ready for spring, we'll probably have Monsoon. Have a great week.

  5. Hi its really very nice i enjoyed a lot to visit..Mobile prices

  6. Emmie, those are some amazing houses! I want the one with the intricate woodwork!!

  7. Glad you made it back safely, Emmie! I had no idea Mobile had such a big Mardi Gras tradition. Also loving all these homes -- classic Greek revivals and Craftsmen are two of my favorite styles. Such character!

  8. Beautiful houses... and I want an elephant like that one :)

    xoxo Laura

  9. wow, those houses are great! it's my dream to buy a historic home to refurbish.

    being a fellow southerner & design fan, come visit my blog sometime :)

  10. Such beautiful houses and I cannot get over the cost of living!

  11. That last house is my favorite, too, Emmie! Have a good Wednesday!

  12. I fled Atlanta's property taxes for Mobile 6 years ago and bought a 4300 sq ft Victorian on Dauphin St just a few blocks closer to downtown from some of the ones you have listed here. My property taxes and sewer fees on a 1800 sq ft house in Virginia Highlands were about $7000/yr - my property taxes on my current house are about $1800 year. Oh and it's for sale too

  13. Oh love that the hotel provided you with beads and a moon pie. Yummy!

    Thanks for all those pictures. Those houses are making me swoon and move down south in a heartbeat!

  14. Moon Pies and oaks and Spanish moss, my kind of childhood memories. Thank you!

  15. Moon Pies, mmmmm. The homes look great too!

  16. WOW. Suddenly I wish we could get out of our house and go home shopping again!

  17. These are some great houses! I went to Mardi Gras last year and these pics are making me wanna go back!!

  18. I am very fond of these gorgeous Southern houses with wrap around porches. My husband's grandparents lived in one of these magnificent antique southern style house and going to visit them felt like stepping back in time,,,i cannot recall how many times I have watched "gone with the wind". i am due to visit the South, thank you for these beautiful houses, Francine

  19. love them all . MERCI for the tour

  20. That bay window IS a dream. I also love the French doors in the first house with the stained glass transom... Oh the details of past houses.

    In our first house we had a stained glass transom over our front door. I miss that house!

    It has been fun finding you blog, I'd love it if you stopped by mine.

  21. Ooh la la! Love those houses!

    We were in San Diego for Mardi Gras and they did it up right. I'd never been away from home for Mardi Gras, but I'll have to consider it more often!

  22. We have a glass-fronted Butler's Pantry almost identical to that one except the drawers are a little different. The only room in the house that we totally had redone (by a professional) was the kitchen which was terribly small and dated. There was a full pantry and backing it, in the small area between the kitchen and dining room was the Butler's Pantry. In the remodel, the pantry was taken out (I miss it!) to get more room for the kitchen. The carpenters were going to throw out the Butler's Pantry until we spoke up and said "no way!" We had them install it in the small breakfast room which used to be the back porch - it was enclosed. The BP is really too large for that room but it was better than throwing it out.

  23. Thanks for the flattering feature on my hometown! I used to love driving around down the oak-lined streets checking out the gorgeous historic homes. Check out the Historic American Buildings Survey at for older photos of some really spectacular buildings!


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