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Tom McGehee

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Ask McGehee: Who designed Mobile’s Battle House Hotel?

Although routinely missing from a list of his creations, the Battle House Hotel was designed by renowned architect Frank Mills Andrews in 1906.

Ask McGehee: Do any of the characters in HBO’s series “The Gilded Age” have...

The lead character, social climber Bertha Russell, was certainly inspired in part by Mobile-born Alva Smith Vanderbilt.

Ask McGehee: What’s the history of the Girls’ Preparatory School of Mobile?

Girls’ Preparatory School would probably have enjoyed a long run, but the stock market crash and untimely death of the school's founder caused the institution to close its doors.

Ask McGehee: Was Mobile’s Stocking Street named to identify it as part of the...

Stocking Street in the Leinkauf District was actually named for John Stocking, who served as Mobile’s mayor from 1831 to 1834.

Ask McGehee: What’s the story behind Downtown’s long-forgotten St. Andrew Hotel?

Like other hotels in Mobile, the St. Andrew flourished during severe housing shortages during World War II.

Ask McGehee: What’s the history of the Catholic Church that is closed on Springhill...

St. Joseph’s Church was dedicated in 1908 and has been vacant since 2018. The parish itself has a much longer history, however.

Ask McGehee: Where was Mobile’s first movie theatre?

The first moving picture in Mobile was shown at the Mobile Theatre, which stood at the southeast corner of Royal and Conti streets.
Bienville Square fountain

Ask McGehee: What’s the history of the fountain in Bienville Square?

Historian Tom McGehee explores the history of the Ketchum fountain that was recently removed from Bienville Square for restoration.
Delchamps grocery store

Ask McGehee: Is it true a Delchamps was located on Conti Street in midtown...

Not many people would recognize this unique Midtown building on Conti Street as having been built to house an early Delchamps grocery store.

Ask McGehee: What is the history of the lost waterfront resort Frascati?

In 1866, Henry Nabring, an owner of the Battle House Hotel, purchased a 15-acre site at the end of Conception Street and dubbed it Frascati.

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