Then and Now
January 27, 1998
by Tom McGehee
On a late July day in 1926 a photographer caught this view of the overgrown south east corner of Government and Scott streets. The surprisingly modest house on the corner has been subdivided into two units and appears vacant after a decade of numerous tenants. By this time a similar cottage to the east has been replaced by a bay window of billboards hawking everything from a new soft drink to the latest fashions down at The Vogue on Dauphin Street.
To the east of all this rises the tower of the Franklin McCoy mansion. Though barely 43 years old the style of the home looks ancient by the streamlined twenties and is openly despised by this era. McCoy had made a fortune with timber and his home had been a showplace when completed in 1883.
The entire block had recently been selected to house a new public library. The scene shown here disappeared under wrecking crews to make way for the Mobile Public Library which still occupies the block. Entering its sixtieth year, the structure is itself a landmark and was the design of architect George B. Rogers.
Photo is courtesy of the Mobile Public Library.