|The Mobile Press Register moved into this building in 1934.|
This photo is from the Eric Overbey Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama, and appeared in Mobile Bay magazine.
|The building as it looks today at the northwest corner of St. Louis and Hamilton streets.|
Photo by Larry Bell.
The Mobile Press Register expects to have its employees in new digs in downtown Mobile by the end of summer 2014. They will be moving into the former Kress Building at 18 S. Royal Street, just south of where it meets Dauphin Street.
Almost exactly 80 years ago, the newspaper moved into another renovated older building.
After the Mobile Press acquired the Mobile Register in 1932, the owners decided to consolidate the two newspaper offices. The Press had started in a converted church building at the northeast corner of Jackson and St. Michael streets. The Register operated out of a building at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Michael streets.
The Press especially needed a better space. Working conditions in its building were hot and filthy as the Linotypes’ lead pots spread heat and fumes throughout the building. All of the desks had fans in effort to keep those sitting at them cool.
The building’s arrangement was also inefficient. Photo engravings for the Press were made at the Gulf States Engraving Col., which occupied the second story of building on St. Michael Street, next to the Press. Gulf States delivered the engravings across the roof to the newspaper.
In May 1934, the Press Register moved into a 40,000-square-foot building formerly used as a car dealership. The building at the northwest corner of St. Louis and Hamilton streets was owned by the McGowin family, who also happened to be major stockholders in the newspaper.
In 1944, The Mobile Press Register moved again, this time to another former car dealership building at the northeast corner of Government and Claiborne streets. (See the Jan. 4 post.)