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Then and Now
October 31, 2000

Mobile: Then and Now

Then Now
(Click on a photo to see a larger version)

by Tom McGehee

For a brief period, Mobile had a photo-worthy architectural holdout on South Broad Street between Government and Conti Streets. The year was 1929.

The raised cottage is number 52 South Broad and was once one of three homes on the west side of the street. Since 1890 it had been the residence of Frederick Moore and his wife Emma. Mr. Moore died in 1895 and his widow was left to watch a rapidly changing Mobile.

By the roaring twenties, the automobile had long since triumphed over the carriages of Mr. Moore’s era. As the decade raced towards its bumpy ending, the Blacksher-Reece Motor Company purchased the north east corner of the Government Street intersection as well as adjoining lots through to Conti for an ambitious new show room.

Mrs. Moore apparently wasn’t interested in selling and the auto dealership just surrounded her house. Here it appears that the northern eave of her house is actually touching the wall to its north. The view and air circulation on the home’s northern side became nonexistent.

Mrs. Moore died in 1930 at the age of 94 and her heirs apparently did not share her love of the old place. It was quickly replaced by the dealership which ironically would not survive.

The building served a variety of uses including a long run as an Albright and Woods drug store location. A discount furniture store was the last tenant before a wrecking crew razed the structure for a muffler repair shop. That building had a relatively short life span and has been replaced with yet another drug store site.

Photo credit: Erick Overbey Collection, University of South Alabama Archives


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