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Living Block

Carriage House circa 1850s

Historical Significance

The Carriage House originally stood behind an Italianate mansion built in the early 1850s by Samuel Swan at the crest of the South Hull Street hill. Swan established a jewelry business and newspaper in Montgomery before leaving the state in 1858. He sold his home and its outbuildings to businessman, newspaper publisher, and U.S. minister to Belgium, John Jacob Seibels in July 1858 for $20,000. The house became known as the Seibels-Ball-Lanier House, descending through the daughters of the Seibels family until 1955. The intricate details of the house and outbuildings were documented in the drawings and photographs of the Historic American Building Survey of the1930s. Only this Carriage House survives of the mansion complex.

Architectural Significance

The Carriage House and the other outbuildings featured Italianate detailing, such as large cornice brackets, arched louvered windows, and board and beaded battens. The interior has exposed mortise and tenon construction. Carriages and horses were housed downstairs and horse feed and tack were stored upstairs

In 1981, the Carriage House was marked, dismantled and carefully reassembled at Old Alabama Town where it houses visitor restrooms. A chemical paint analysis determined that the original paint colors were the chocolate brown and pistachio green which you see today.