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Front Porch

Front Porch Aside from moonlight and magnolias, there can't be many things more stereotypically southern than frilly ornamental ironwork veiling the balconies around some timeless antebellum square. In truth, only a few places in the South are famous for such vistas -- Charleston, New Orleans, and Mobile come immediately to mind -- but these iconic cities are so famous as epitomes of antebellum charm that exotic features of their landscapes can somehow seem more typical of the region than reality itself. Lacy antique grillwork might be nonexistent in your county or mine, but if you do see one of those ornate filigrees framed around a live oak limb, preferably one laden with Spanish moss, you know you're in the South. John Sledge and Sheila Hagler share a portrait of historic cast iron décor from Mobile, Alabama, taken from their new book, An Ornament to the City: Old Mobile Ironwork (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006). It's impossible to argue with their subject. With a moment's thought, we all know that the mansions and public buildings adorned by Mobile's iron tracery were monuments to the planters and cotton factors of antebellum elite. We also know who could and who could not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

Aside from moonlight and magnolias, there can't be many things more stereotypically southern than frilly ornamental ironwork veiling the balconies around some timeless antebellum square. In truth, only a few places in the South are famous for such vistas -- Charleston, New Orleans, and Mobile come immediately to mind -- but these iconic cities are so famous as epitomes of antebellum charm that exotic features of their landscapes can somehow seem more typical of the region than reality itself. Lacy antique grillwork might be nonexistent in your county or mine, but if you do see one of those ornate filigrees framed around a live oak limb, preferably one laden with Spanish moss, you know you're in the South. John Sledge and Sheila Hagler share a portrait of historic cast iron décor from Mobile, Alabama, taken from their new book, An Ornament to the City: Old Mobile Ironwork (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006). It's impossible to argue with their subject. With a moment's thought, we all know that the mansions and public buildings adorned by Mobile's iron tracery were monuments to the planters and cotton factors of antebellum elite. We also know who could and who could not

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 3, 2006

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