Spring Hill College
Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College was a first in a lot of things. It’s Alabama’s oldest institution of higher learning; it was founded by Mobile’s first Catholic bishop, Michael Portier; and it’s the first Catholic college in the Southeast. It’s the fifth oldest Catholic college in the United States. And in 1954, Spring Hill integrated its first black students and remained the only integrated college in the Deep South for the next decade. Martin Luther King, Jr., even wrote about the college’s integration in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Government Street Presbyterian Church
The church as it stands now was completed in 1839. Built in the Greek Revival architectural style, the church is considered one of the oldest and least altered of its kind. It was designed and built by Henry Hitchcock and Charles Dakin. Both men helped develop Mobile in the 1830s. Several original pieces still are in use, including the high-backed walnut pews. An aura of elegance is a result of the church’s ornate design, with its dramatically lit pulpit, hand hewn attic beams and gold and white interior.
Malbis Memorial Church
This Greek Orthodox Church was opened in 1965 in memory of James Malbis. Malbis, a Greek immigrant and businessman, founded the former Malbis Plantation. The church is best known for its ornate Byzantine architecture and extensive mosaics. Before it was dedicated to Malbis, the church was known as Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Presentation of Theotokos.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The cornerstone for the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was first laid in 1835 by Mobile’s first Catholic bishop, Michael Portier, who dreamed that the church would have a central part in “the future of Mobile.” Its grand white columns with gold-leafed tips, marble columns and vaulted ceilings give visitors the feeling that they’ve just stepped into Rome.