Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Building by Family Members

While Joel Ninde grew up surrounded by the exuberant architecture built by her forebears in better times, the economic downturn of the south did not prevent other relatives from building. Joel Ninde’s aunt Jennie Roberts and her husband George Eberlein built a large Victorian mansion in 1880 on Springhill Avenue. When the house burned soon thereafter, Jennie and George replaced it with an elegant cottage on the lot. Another family member with a talent for building houses was Jennie’s brother, Walsingham Roberts, who built two houses in the 1890’s located at 905 and 907 Dexter Avenue. Walsingham was Joel Ninde’s uncle. Another family member, Elizabeth Bolles Douglass, great aunt to Joel Ninde, and her husband Sidney had built the Douglass-Taylor-Inge-Kearney House, a Greek Revival mansion at 1004 Government Street in 1856. Then in 1872, the Douglasses built an Italianate house at 950 Government Street. [i] Greek revival and Italianate were two of the more popular styles of architecture in Mobile during the late 1800’s.[ii]

[i] Ibid.[ii] Other styles of the time (late 1800’s) were Renaissance Revival, Romanesque, Classical Revival, Queen Ann, and Federal. National Register of Historical Homes in Mobile.
[iii] The Roberts House at 910 Government Street is one of the Oakleigh District‘s oldest structures dating from 1854. Historic Mobile Preservation Society.[iv] Gould, Elizabeth. From Builders to Architects (Black Belt Press: Mongomery, Alabama, 1997).

No comments: