The History Museum of Mobile is where Mobile’s story begins. Over 117,000 objects weave together the rich, diverse, and often turbulent histories of Mobile and the surrounding area, from the prehistoric past to the present. Located in the heart of downtown, the History Museum of Mobile operates three campuses: The primary exhibitions are located in the Old City Hall-Southern Market building at 111 South Royal Street; Colonial Fort Condé is at 150 South Royal Street; and the Phoenix Fire Museum is at 203 South Claiborne Street. 

In a city with an architectural heritage that is nearly unmatched nationally, it can be difficult to identify a singular structure or architectural feature that defines Mobile. Any such conversation must include the Old City Hall, originally known as the Southern Market, which is now the History Museum of Mobile. Originally conceived as an Italianate-style Southern Market, the building we are in encompassed both the market on the first floor and City Hall on the second floor when it opened in 1857. From that point forward, this history of Mobile was shaped in this building. Laws were made and lives were shaped by the people of this building.­

Around the turn of the twentieth century, City Hall grew to encompass the former market space. In 1994 City Hall moved one block up to the newly completed Government Plaza. As the History Museum of Mobile, which opened at this location in 2001, this building is able to tell Mobile’s rich history like no other. For over a century and a half, this building has been on the front lines of every significant event in Mobile. Now, as a history museum, it tells those stories. Mobile’s story – our story – starts here.

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