Significant exterior stabilization work has been undertaken at 971 Gorgas Street, the two-story Victorian home saved by Restore Mobile after being contracted for demolition in 2019. An entire roof replacement has recently been completed, a key step in securing the future of the home for generations to come. Additionally, large amounts of rotten or missing
lap siding has been replaced and a hefty coat of primer has the exterior looking better
than it had in years.
Our contractor's long history of work on historic properties has been a vital component in the success of this project to date. When the original roof decking was constructed, 1x8 tongue-and-groove boards were used. In cases where they needed to be replaced, 1x8 material was used once again rather than using plywood – a decking method used commonly today. Additionally, the scope included reproducing numerous missing or rotten decorative rafter tails, as well as soffit and fascia boards along the eaves.
Original and new 1x8 decking
971 Gorgas with completed roof replacement
Though the history of the home has not been extensively researched, it was most likely constructed between 1880 and 1900. The family from whom we acquired the house tells us that the original owner, their ancestor, built the house and was a local ship builder's carpenter, working on many of the seafaring vessels that left Mobile's harbor for cities across the sea. This skilled level of craftsmanship is evident throughout the home with much of the original millwork and details intact.
Not long ago, 971 Gorgas was actually 973 Gorgas. This was was before Restore Mobile acquired the building, lifted, and moved it one lot to the east to save it from demolition. In the spring of 2019 after becoming aware of the home's imminent fate, Restore Mobile staged a "heart bombing" outside of the house to bring attention to this potential loss and rally the community around an architectural gem in the Oakdale National Register Historic District. The event was a success and after months of tedious work, Restore Mobile successfully acquired the home, moved it, and began planning its stabilization and repair.
"Heart Bombing" March 9, 2019
Relocating the house
It has been a long road to get where we are today, but critical improvements are evident on Gorgas Street. The exterior work completed this year will serve to protect the house until a buyer is found to renovate the interior. This would not be possible without the generous support of The 1772 Foundation, funding provided by the Mobile County Commission, with thanks to Mobile County Commisioner Merceria Ludgood, and anonymous individual donors. Your donation dollars go toward saving Mobile's architecture and neighborhood fabric. Thank you for continuing to support our work!
Please consider supporting our work in Mobile's historic neighborhoods with a donation of any amount by clicking here. Thank you!