Guidelines for Awarding Historic Building Markers


Only portions of a building visible from the street will be reviewed. The interior of a building is not subject to evaluation.

  • The building should represent the architectural style in which it was constructed.
  • Original materials must be maintained or duplicated where necessary.
  • Exterior finish materials should be appropriate to the building’s style and period.
  • All exterior finishes should be in good condition.
  • Mechanical equipment should be unobtrusively located.


The original form and pitch of the main building should be maintained. Roofing materials should be consistent.

Acceptable Unacceptable
- slate
- tile
- wood shingles
- asbestos shingles
- asphalt or fiberglass shingles
- standing seam metal or 5 v crimp
- pressed metal shingles
- corrugated fiberglass
- asphalt roll roofing
- corrugated metal


The porch is an important aspect of Mobile’s vernacular architectural tradition and must retain its original configuration, height and details. A screened or infilled porch may be acceptable providing the original details of the porch can be read and the new materials are appropriate.


Columns detail, material and proportions should be appropriate to the building’s style. Where known, they should match the original.


A balustrade consists of a top rail, bottom rail and intermediate members. A balustrade should be consistent with the architectural style of the building.


Steps should be appropriately scaled to the building. Ramps should be unobtrusive.

Acceptable Unacceptable
- wood steps with closed risers & sides
- brick steps
- stuccoed masonry steps
- stone steps
- pre-fabricated concrete steps
- wood steps with open sides and risers


The design of the stair rails should be consistent with the design of the balustrade and the style of the buildings. (Painted pipe rails, simple in design and appropriately scaled are acceptable).


The entranceway shall be consistent with the architectural style of the building. Screen doors on the front should be of wood and should not detract from the building’s appearance. All other exterior doors should be consistent with the style of the building.


Windows must reflect the architectural style of the building. The original window openings, sash and muntin patterns shall be retained.


Interior storm windows are recommended. When used, storm windows should be single pane or match the sash pattern of historic windows. When used, storm window frames must have an anodized finish to match the sash color. Mill (silver) finish storm window frames are unacceptable.


Screen frames may be of wood or anodized metal to match the window sash color.Mill (silver) finish screen frames are unacceptable.


Shutters must be of wood. Shutters may be operable or fixed but must fit the window openings as if they are operable.

Acceptable Unacceptable
- shutters with fixed or operable louvers
- shutters with panels
- fabric awnings properly scaled
- vinyl shutters
- metal shutters
- shutters on casement windows
- metal awnings
- Bermuda shutters
- decorative shutters unless historic precedent can be shown


It is preferred that burglar bars not be used. When used, they should be simple in design.


Foundation treatment should be consistent.

Acceptable Unacceptable
- framed lattice hung between piers and recessed from the face of the pier
- brick recessed behind piers with appropriate venting
- stuccoed concrete block recessed behind piers with appropriate venting
- open foundation
- fiberglass sheets
- tar paper
- polyurethane sheeting
- plywood
- exposed concrete block


Additions may mimic the historic structure or comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. These standards require differentiation between the historic structure and the addition.


Fences and walls in view of the street shall be designed and constructed of materials to reflect the style, period and character of the building they abut or enclose.

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