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  • F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald MuseumF. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Montgomery, Alabama
    The Fitzgerald Museum is a marvelous museum that is devoted to celebrating the life and works of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their daughter, Scottie, who lived in this wonderful house during the years of 1931 and 1932. The house was going to be destroyed by demolition in 1986, but it was saved to become the only residential home to the great writer and his family left in the country today. It is also the only museum that is devoted to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. It was in October of 1931, that the Montgomery Advertiser produced a stunning headline for the small city; "Scott Fitzgeralds to Spend Winter Here Writing Books". Montgomery had been the birthplace of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, whose father, Judge A. D. Sayre lived here, and it was upon their return for a long tour of Europe. The Jazz age couple spent two years traveling the continent getting "color" for their books or writings and the newspaper was decent enough not to mention Zelda's stay at the Prangins Clinic in Switzerland for a long treatment of her first breakdown. The world renowned writers leased a home near Zelda's parents house and within a month, Scott was off to Hollywood, leaving Zelda here to take care of her 10 year old daughter Scottie. The same month, Zelda's father died, a well known and major player in the state's politics, but she managed to somehow plan for her husband's return at Christmas. She wrote to her husband every day, and spoke of the poetic qualities of the house and the Alabama autumn; "the weather here is a continual circus day...smoky with the sun like a red balloon and soft and romantic and sensual." While she was there, she began an outline of her book about a marriage that was in the midst of a breakdown; "Save Me the Waltz" which was about a heroine named Alabama. Scott was also working on a book, his novel was about a disastrous marriage in European settings called; "Tender is the Night". The strained emotional competition that arose between the two writers were the subject of Tennessee William's last play; "Clothes for a Summer Hotel". However, while the couple lived at the house in Montgomery, Zelda's feelings for her husband were always true to their famous love affair. She wrote to Scott in December, saying; "Scottie is so sweet and darling and the house is so pleasant and I have everything in the world except you. This house has become the magnificent museum that contain many of the works of this exceptional romantic couple, including some of Zelda's paintings which are truly spectacular. It is obvious all over the city that this woman left a memorable imprint, like the memories of her in the old Cloverdale neighborhood where she grew up and the marble steps of the Alabama Capitol in downtown Montgomery, where she and childhood friend, Tallulah Bankhead would stage dramas that ranged from political satires to cartwheels that had always been well accepted and enjoyed by the old southern politicians.

  • Conde-Charlotte Museum HouseConde-Charlotte Museum House Mobile, Alabama
    The Conde-Charlotte House, is also called the Kirkbride House, and is a historic house museum in Mobile, Alabama, with the original kitchen wing, set in the rear, being constructed in 1822, and the remainder being build some years later. It is made of hand-made bricks and stuccoed over. It was the city's first courthouse and jail, being constructed between the southern bastions of Fort Conde. While this was happening, the fort itself was being dismantled and in 1849, it was purchased by Jonathan Kirkbride who had arrived here from Mount Holly, New Jersey. He had the courthouse and jail transformed into a kitchen wing, and the main house was built onto it. The house stayed in the Kirkbride family until 1905, when B. J. Bishop would buy it and then bought by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society in 1940. It was then that a renovation began for parts of the house and soon the outlines of four of the cells were found in the kitchen. Sometime later, the renovation would be finished by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. The house had been constructed in the Federal architectural style and when renovated, changed to add the Greek Revival style. The bottom floor ceilings are 10 feet high and the second floor is 9 feet high. When Interstate 10 was being built, the house became separated from the rest of the city, since it lay in the older part of Mobile, which was demolished to make room for the new interstate. During that construction, the foundations of old Fort Conde were found and it was rebuilt; which is a backdrop to the house. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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January 11, 2011