Then and Now
October 28, 1997
by Tom McGehee
In 1904 the Henry Hall family moved into 1116 Government Street which in this period photo dwarfs the 1895 Safford Berney home to the west. The site occupied the north side of the street in the long block between Hallet and South Georgia Avenue.
Hall had the distinction of serving as president of the First National Bank of Mobile as well as being a principal in the Verona Lumber Co. and the Bush- Hall Shoe Company.
The newspaper described the Hall house as having been "designed with an idea of internal comfort rather than external appearance."
Within were seven bedrooms and two baths above a reception hall, library, parlor, dining room and the ever present butler's pantry and kitchen. The rooms were "finished in white enamel" and the structure was equipped with "modern methods of heating and lightning."
By 1927 the Halls had moved to Rapier Avenue and their home on Government belonged to Samuel Zimmern. Zimmern was involved with the Zimmern Coal Company whose offices occupied the original home of the First National Bank on Royal Street.
Samuel Zimmern died in the early 1950's and his widow occupied the house until 1956. The house was razed with little attention leaving the vacant lot which still occupies the address today. The Berney house has survived.
Above Left: Photo courtesy of the Wilson Collection, Historic Mobile Preservation Society. Above Right: photo by Kevin Marston.