Richards DAR House

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Richards DAR House
250 Joachim Street Richards DAR House Mobile AL 01.JPG
The Richards DAR House in 2008
Richards DAR House is located in Alabama
Richards DAR House
Location Mobile, Alabama
Coordinates 30°41′45″N 88°2′44″W / 30.69583°N 88.04556°W / 30.69583; -88.04556Coordinates: 30°41′45″N 88°2′44″W / 30.69583°N 88.04556°W / 30.69583; -88.04556
Built 1860
Architectural style Italianate
Governing body Private
Part of De Tonti Square Historic District (#72000169[1])

The Richards DAR House is a historic house museum in Mobile, Alabama, United States. The Italianate style house was completed in 1860 for Charles and Caroline Richards.[2] It is a contributing property to the De Tonti Square Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 7, 1972.[1] The six Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapters in Mobile jointly operate and maintain the house.[3] It is noted by architectural historians as one of Mobile's best preserved and elaborate examples of mid-19th century domestic architecture.[4]

History[edit]

The house was built in 1860 for Charles G. Richards, a steamboat captain, and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth Steele. It remained in their family until 1946, when it was purchased by the Ideal Cement Company.[2] That company renovated it for office use in 1947.[4] It was turned over to the city of Mobile in 1973, which then leased it to the Daughters of the American Revolution for operation as a museum.[2][3]

Architecture[edit]

The exterior of the two-story brick house is Italianate in style. The rectangular main block is offset at the rear with semi-octagonal bays. It features an elaborate cast iron veranda, with allegorical figures representing the four seasons, across the three bays of the main front elevation. The deck of the veranda is marble and granite. Bracketed cornices and paneled soffits at the roof line are topped by a shallow hipped roof.[4]

The interior is divided on a side-hall plan. Notable ornamental features are a curved staircase, marble mantels, the original bronze chandeliers, and floor-length windows overlooking the veranda.[4]

Folklore[edit]

The house is reportedly the site of disembodied laughter, the singing of childlike voices, and a ghostly figure that appears in an upstairs bedroom window.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Richards DAR House Museum". Richards DAR House Museum. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Richards DAR House". Needham Bryan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gamble, Robert (1987). The Alabama Catalog: A Guide to the Early Architecture of the State. University, AL: University of Alabama Press. p. 311. ISBN 0-8173-0148-8. 
  5. ^ Parker, Elizabeth (2000). Mobile Ghosts: Alabama's Haunted Port City. Mobile, Alabama: Apparition Publishing. pp. 39–45. ISBN 0-9703385-1-1.