One-Night Stand: The Quiet Voice of Bricks

Twisted Preservation

It’s complicated:  the city of Mobile, the landscape, Oakleigh Villa, and the historic narrative of the people involved.  Just like the live oaks that surround the Villa, it is almost impossible to convey the level of overlapped, interconnected, subplots that define a historic site, but Oakleigh stands out in its complexities.  Perhaps, for me, the reason why Oakleigh’s story is so tangled is because most of the true story exists in far-off, remote, and at times hidden & decaying remnants of the built environment and as far away as New Orleans and Virginia.  It spans eras involving trans-Atlantic slavery, the domestic slave trade, the Jim Crow Era, the Civil Rights Movement, all the way up to the present.

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Oakleigh as a house and site is quite beautiful.  When I first approached, I was taken by the beautiful live oak grove that grows like moss around the…

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