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    Until 1934, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath had been residents of Mobile where they maintained a beautiful home and garden at 60 South Ann Street. … Read More
    Until 1934, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath had been residents of Mobile where they maintained a beautiful home and garden at 60 South Ann Street. When they decided to have their weekend property open year-round to guests, the Bellingraths realized that it would require a great deal of supervision. The couple decided to establish residency at their now famous Gardens, which were beginning to receive national recognition. The 15-room, 10,500 square-foot Home was built in 1935 and was designed by the prominent Mobile architect, George B. Rogers. The exterior features handmade brick salvaged in Mobile from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, who was a notable American socialite and major figure in the women’s suffrage movement. Ironwork was obtained from the recently demolished Southern Hotel, also in Mobile. The result was dubbed “English Renaissance” by Rogers. Flagstone terraces, a slate roof and figural copper downspouts join with a central courtyard, balconies and covered galleries to give the Home a Gulf Coast flair. The architect wanted the visitor to think of the house as a home, not a mansion, and it is situated to give the impression of a much more modest residence. He also wanted the Home to reflect the architectural heritage of the region. The Home was the most modern of its kind in 1935, but Alabama Power had not brought electricity to this remote area of Mobile County. The Bellingraths therefore depended on a large Delco generator for electricity until 1940. Read Less
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