Explore Mobile’s unique Historic Districts: Oakleigh Garden

Home In Ogd
Just one example of the gorgeous homes in the Oakleigh Historic Garden District. Photo via Oakleigh Garden District Society on Facebook.

Welcome back to week 3 of The Bama Buzz exploring Mobile’s historic districts! Last week, we took a look at the LoDa Arts District and all its arts and culture. This week, we’re going to highlight the Oakleigh Garden District.

What makes a historic district?

Historic Districts Of Mobile Map
Historic districts of Mobile Map. Rendering via Mobile.org.

In the City of Mobile, we have registered 7 different districts on the National Register of Historic Places and a few more locally recognized and maintained as historic districts even if not on a registry. Here’s a list of the historic districts in Mobile:

The easiest way to tell if a building is historical, especially in Mobile, is to look for a certain plaque issued by the Mobile Historic Development Commission. They look a bit like this:

Mobile Historic Development Plaque
Mobile Historic Development Commission plaque. Photo via MobileHD.org.

The Oakleigh Garden Historic District

Oakleigh Map

The Oakleigh Garden Historic District is named after the Oakleigh House, a Greek-Revivial style home built in the 1830s by James Roper. The City of Mobile ultimately purchased the property in the 1950s, and The Historic Mobile Preservation Society set up the Oakleigh House as a museum, which is still open today! Take a tour, guided by Mobile Belles, a volunteer program for young women to act as advocates for Mobile History.

Historic Oakleigh Sign
Historic Oakleigh House sign, via the Historic Oakleigh website.

Historic Oakleigh Museum

  • Address: 300 Oakleigh Place, Mobile, AL, 36604
  • Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. Last tour of the day departs at 3 pm.
  • Price: $10 for adults, $5 for children, kids 5 and under get in for free
  • Contact: 251-432-1281 | Website

The number one thing we love about the Oakleigh Garden District, often referred to by locals as simply “Oakleigh”, is just how walkable it is. It’s one of those places that has beautiful house after beautiful house, all draped in live oaks that line the streets. Walking through the Oakleigh District is so beautiful that there is an entire Facebook page dedicated to it, Walking the Oakleigh Historic District.

Historic Oakleigh House
Historic Oakleigh House, via Historic Oakleigh website.

This is a more residential area than some previous historic districts we’ve covered. There is an emphasis placed on community here, with the Oakleigh District hosting community gatherings like the “Meet your Neighbors” event held in 2018, pre-pandemic. This is a homey front-porch community that will make you feel welcome at first stroll. Despite the small and homey feel, the Oakleigh Garden Historic District is one of the largest and most well-known in Mobile.

The neighborhood itself is beautiful to wander about and the proximity to both sides of town is unmatched.

Also within the bounds of Oakleigh Historic District is Washington Square, which serves as a kind of hub for those who live in the Oakleigh District. Washington Square is like a small community park with places for children to play and parents to unwind.

Oakleigh Placard
Oakleigh Garden Historic District placard. Photo via Oakleigh Garden Historic District on Facebook.

We love Oakleigh because it’s a gorgeous example of historical preservation. Row after row of houses are embossed with the historical building marker, yet are still teeming with life. You can find kids playing outside and families hosting barbecues, all while entrenched in Mobile History.

That was this week’s segment of exploring Mobile’s Historic Districts. Tune in next week when we cover Old Dauphin Way.

What do you love most about the Oakleigh Garden District? Tag us @thebamabuzz & let us know!

Liv George
Liv George

A Georgia native soaking up the sun on the Gulf Coast. Lover of Mardi Gras, beach days, and historical sites.

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