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home_-_web_aThe Bellingrath Museum Home

 

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 Bellingrath realized that it would require a great deal of supervision.  The couple decided to establish a residency at their now famous Gardens, which were beginning to receive national recognition.  

 

The 15-room Home was built in 1935 and designed by prominent Mobile architect, George B. Rogers.  It encompasses 10,500 square feet.  The exterior of the Home features hand-made brick salvaged in Mobile from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont.  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 and the Bellingrath’s depended on a large Delco generating plant for electricity until 1940.  

 

The adjoining guest house and garage was completed in 1939, and has housed a collection of Boehm Porcelain since 1967.  This fine American porcelain collection was a gift to the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation by the Delchamps family of Mobile, long associated with the Bellingrath family.  This building also serves as a visitors lounge and adjoins the family chapel.

 

The Home Today 

 

The Bellingrath Home appears as it did in the Bellingraths’ era and is open to visitor for tours.  The tours begin at 9:00 a.m. each day and run hourly through 3:30 p.m.  During Magic Christmas in Lights, tours end at 8:00 p.m.

 

All of the Bellingrath’s original furnishings are on display to guests.  Enjoy seeing the “ultra modern” bathrooms of 1935, the kitchen with its original appliances, German silver countertops and sinks and the Butler’s Pantry, overflowing with Mrs. Bellingrath’s collection of silver, crystal and china.

 

The adjoining guest house and garage was completed in 1939, and has housed a collection of Boehm Porcelain since 1967.  This fine American porcelain collection was a gift to the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation by the Delchamps family of Mobile, long associated with the Bellingrath family.  This building also serves as a visitors lounge and adjoins the family chapel.