Saturday, November 13, 2010

Baiarwood; A Mobile Alabama manor house

Baiarwood built in 1839 in the Greek Revival style by Kiah Bayley Sewall of Portland, Maine.

Baiarwood built in the then fashionable Greek Revival style sweeping the Country was constructed by Kiah Bayley Sewall when he was in his early 30's originally from Portland, Maine. Like a lot of young men from the East Coast he came down to Mobile to make his riches in cotton trading. By 1839 he was able to build his home "Baiarwood" right outside the city limits of Mobile in a little community called ``Napoleonville''.


``Napoleonville'' was first settled by a group of French Napoleonic refugees from the court of Napoleon. They established themselves first in Demopolis, Alabama as a ``vine and olive society'' to grow grapes and olive trees, but the crops did not do well there. Some of the refugees returned to Mobile and settled in what is now Crichton but was called Napoleonville by them in the 19th century, and on Spring Hill.


Kiah property was about a 30 min carriage ride from downtown Mobile. The land was higher and dryer then in the city. The air was fresher then the hussel and bussel and smells you get in any port city. Plus there were cool fresh water springs in the area. Kiah would build a outstanding example of a raised Gulf Coast Greek Revival home. Baiarwood in on a stucco masonry raised basement used for storage. The main living quarters are on the 2th floor feature large rooms, high ceilings, ornate plaster work, solid Sterling silver door knobs and key hole covers made by Carpenter from England. And classical trim. The home is unusual because the main entrance in not in the front of the home but off to the side. The front has fluted columns with 3 triple hung windows.



Sewell was a rabid abolitionist and Union sympathizer. On the day that Alabama seceded from the Union Sewell, in his position on the school board, left the dinner cooking on the stove, the lamps burning and boarded his carriage for Maine. He left his home completely furnished never to returned to Baiarwood." Records show he died on August 16, 1865 leaving a widow and eight children, then living in Portland, Maine. Enjoy the photo's taken 1936-1937 by the Historic American Buildings Survey. Shortly after the home was photographed and documented it was demolished to make way for a school.

SOUTH (FRONT) ELEVATION FROM SOUTH EAST



WEST ELEVATION SHOWING THE MAIN ENTRANCE


REAR ELEVATION (NORTH) AND WEST SIDE




TRIPLE HUNG WINDOWS ON SOUTH (FRONT) WALL




MAIN ENTRANCE ON WEST SIDE




STEPS TO WEST SIDE PORTICO (MAIN ENTRANCE)




BASEMENT WINDOW (CLOSED SHUTTERS)




INTERIOR OF MAIN ENTRANCE




ENGLISH SILVER KNOB AND KEY PLATE




SECTION VIEW OF HEAVY SILVER PLATED LOCK ON MAIN ENTRANCE




MANTEL ON EAST WALL LIVING ROOM




TRIPLE HUNG WINDOW IN SOUTH AND JAB DOOR WINDOW ON THE EAST WALL OF LIVING ROOM




DOUBLE DOORS BETWEEN LIVING ROOM AND DINING ROOM




ROOM DOORS; NOTE WOOD FLOOR PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE MARBLE


CLOSE-UP DETAIL OF WOOD PEGS USED IN CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSE




SOUTH END OF WEST ELEVATION SHOWING MAIN ENTRANCE AND FRONT PORTICO




CLOSE-UP OF WEST SIDE OF REAR ELEVATION




DOOR IN BASEMENT

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