Downtown Mobile News and Info - July 2015
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New Hotel Stirs Passionate Conversations

There has been much debate and some confusion about the Hilton Garden Inn now underway at the corner of Conception and St. Francis streets.  Below is a link to a statement from the Downtown Mobile Alliance. Here are some highlights:

  • The proper building placement for our urban core, particularly streets facing Bienville Square, is right to the edge of the sidewalk. 
  • The property is not in an historic district and therefore not subject to Architectural Review Board approval.
  • The City Council adopted a new development code for downtown in May 2014. The Hilton Garden Inn project was approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment before  that date, and the city's legal staff determined it was not required to meet the new design requirements.
  • The trees, as lovely as they were, were planted in the 1970s and, except for three, too small to require permits for removal.
To read the full statement, click here.
Development News
  • The long-vacant Gayfer's building has been purchased by the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership for conversion into apartments. The Partnership has created 23 residential and mixed-use developments in Louisiana and Mississippi. The 82,000 square foot building with frontages along Dauphin, St. Emanuel and Conti streets has been vacant since the department store closed in 1985. 
  • A new hotel has been approved for Fort Conde Village. The 140-room, six story hotel will occupy the corner that was once home to Russos restaurant. 
Sidewalk Upgrades Underway

The City of Mobile is undertaking a major project to upgrade many of the sidewalks and ramps in Downtown Mobile. At least 50 intersections involving 181 ramps will be improved, making downtown much easier to navigate for anyone with mobility issues, from strollers to wheelchairs. The work will take several weeks and may involve minor traffic disruptions. We'll let you know as the schedule is finalized. 
Common Sense Guidelines 

In general, Downtown Mobile is just about as safe as any other neighborhood in the city, with one exception: car break-ins. Far too often people come downtown to enjoy our many entertainment options and walk away from an unlocked car with valuables in plain sight. 
The Police Department's downtown precinct has instituted a "Lock It or Lose It" campaign to remind everyone to use a little common sense when parking a car anywhere. These posters are available for downtown businesses as a reminder for customers who might be a little complacent or forgetful when starting out an evening downtown.Email Lt. Billie Rowland if you'd like one of the posters. 
Upcoming Events


July 10, 2015

6:00 - 9:00 PM. FREE event at the History Museum of Mobile. Opening reception for Vincent Lawson\'s Our Neighbors, a photographic essay on Mobile's homeless population. Exhibit runs from July to September and it sponsored by United Way, History Museum of Mobile, Kingdom Covenant Connections, and the Cooper Foundation. Visit facebook for more info.


July 11 2015

9:30 AM - 2:30 PM. Mobile Convention Center. Babypalooza is a FREE baby and maternity experience for new, expectant and hopeful parents. It’s a day full of fun and information with exhibitors highlighting everything from health and fitness to nursery design, infant and maternity fashion, mommy and me classes and more. 

Wonderful Wednesdays: Protecting Pollinators

July 15, 2015

10:30 AM. Join Horticultural Consultant Harvey Cotton to learn how your garden can attract and protect bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators. Cotton will sign his books after the program, which is part of the Wonderful Wednesdays series at Bellingrath Gardens and Home in July. More info and Bellingrath events.

Live at the Museum: Ruby the Rabbitfoot

July 16, 2015, 7:00 PM
Mobile Museum of Art

MMofA is pleased to present one of Southern Living’s 2015 ‘10 Southern Bands to Listen to Today’, all the way from Nashville, Ruby the Rabbitfoot. Humid grooves, glittering guitars, barnacle-sharp piano melodies, and Ruby’s deft turn of phrase make for an intoxicating elixir. LIVE is a concert series presenting all original sounds from regional and local talent. Learn more

Colors of Fashion Launch Party 

July 16, 2015

6:00 - 9:00 PM. The Temple Downtown. Support 15 different non-profit organizations, ranging from the Penelope House to the Alabama Coastal Foundation, by attending the event and buying the artful calendar. Music by Rumor Mill. Tickets and more information here.

Draft Recommendations Presented

July 16, 2015, 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Alabama Cruise Terminal

The Map for Mobile Open House will be an overview of the plan’s status and next steps, and one-on-one dialogue with city staff and the planning consultants. The open house will be a family-friendly event so everyone attending will enjoy themselves while learning about the great future that lies ahead for the City of Mobile. Refreshments are generously being provided by Mobile Gas and Coca Cola, and entertainment is being planned for children. Learn more.

Live Music Listing

Looking for some great live local and regional music in downtown? Check out these sources:

Soul Kitchen
Alchemy Tavern

Moe's Original BBQ
O'Daly's Irish Pub

Lagniappe has a listing of live music in the Mobile area.

The Lost Garden

May-July 2015

“The Lost Garden,” located in the 250 block of Dauphin Street, next to Heroes', is part installation art work, part sustainability laboratory and seeks to recapture that sense of adventure and self-reliance. Be sure to come to the garden for the July ArtWalk, where there will be jugglers, ribbon dancers and other circus performers! Saturday July 11 from 9-11AM a beekeeper will be in the garden discussing bees, bee keeping, and any other bee-related issues.

The Gulf Coast Exploreum's newest exhibit, Journey to Mars, has lift-off. Developed by The Exploreum and NASA, this exhibit will educate youngsters about a future they will in all likelihood have a chance to participate in: mankind visiting the red planet. 

The Exploreum will be hosting a summer film series, replaying some of the all-time favorite IMAX movies. So if you loved "Flight of the Butterflies" or can't believe you missed "Hubble," now's your chance to get a front row seat for round 2 of the maximum film experience. Film series schedule here.

Friday, July 10, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
LoDa Arts District

The LoDa Arts District has become the place to be and be seen on second Friday of each month. Thousands will be strolling along Dauphin Street, wandering between galleries and shops...enjoying live music, refreshments and a lively street vendor scene.

Tonight, the LoDa Bier Garten is adding to the fun by hosting a  street party in the block of Joachim between Dauphin and Conti. Free crawfish, craft beer samples, cornhole tournament and FREE tie-died shirts for the first 120 people. 

Saenger Summer Classic Movie Series

July 12, 2015

This summer, the SMG managed Mobile Saenger Theatre will showcase a Summer Classic Movie Series featuring classic hit movies and movie musicals the way movies were meant to be seen, on the big screen! The Summer Classic Movie Series will run from July 12 – August 16, 2015. On Sunday afternoons, the Saenger Theatre will feature a classic movie to be shown at 3 p.m. with the doors opening at 2:30 p.m. This Sunday the feature is the classic drama Casablanca. Tickets and more info.

An Evening with John Sledge

July 15, 2015

5:00 - 7:00 PM> History Museum of Mobile. Mobile Bay Magazine, History Museum of Mobile, and Page & Jones, Inc. present An Evening with John S. Sledge in honor of the release of his new book “The Mobile River.” Join us for hors d’oeuvres, a book signing and music from Kracker Dan. There is no registration required for this free event. Everyone is invited to come and go as they like!

Free Barre3 Classes

July 15 & 25

Mobile's barre3 Studio is celebrating its first anniversary with free classes downtown. Try out this fun and effective fitness program either July 8th & 15th at noon, or July 25th at 9:30 with brunch following. All classes will take place at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center. More info.


Concert Finale

July 16, 2015, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Cathedral Square

Enjoy the final concert of the Campo Santo Series with Mobile's own Eric Erdman! Bring a blanket, some camp chairs and your entire family for live music, face painting, fun & games and samples of the most popular craft beers presented by Gulf Distributing and Blue Moon Brewing Company. 

"Go Set a Watchman"
Live Reading

July 16, 2015

Mobile Public Library Bernheim Hall. 4:30 - 7:30 PM. The much-anticipated release of Harper Lee's sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" brings storytellers, community leaders and nationally-acclaimed authors together for live readings and entertaining reflections. Free admission. Register on the link below. 

What's on the Screen

The Crescent Theater features current releases and popular documentaries. Plus, you can relax in one of 10 recliners and enjoy a glass of wine or beer.
Current films, showtimes and tickets

The Gulf Coast Exploreum with its I-MAX dome will educate and entertain at the same timeCurrent films, showtimes and tickets

Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Through December 2015

Featuring over 75 works by 15 Alabama self-taught artists from the collection of William S. Arnett and Souls Grown Deep Foundation, History Refused to Die examines the textured African American experience in Alabama. Special video installation by Tom Leeser. Often dismissively referred to as "outsider" or "folk" art, works from this genre of truly astonishing American art are sure to engage and surprise visitors of all ages and walks of life.

 Learn more

Cathedral Square Gallery   
July Happenings
'FLIP FLOP CONTEST' - Art created by gallery members reflecting summertime elements.  Drop by and vote for 'Peoples Choice Award' Vote During Regular Business Hours Sunday thru Thursday, July 5-9, And Till 7 PM July 10.  Award will be presented during Artwalk Reception at 7:30.
Painted Poems Book Signing - Meet the author and the artists 
Artwalk - July 10 - 5:30-8:30
Wine Tasting - Music by Bayou Rhythm
612 Dauphin St. - T-S 11-5, Sunday 11 - 3, 251-694-0278
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