Raphael Semmes House Information

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Raphael Semmes House
Admiral Semmes House 01.jpg
Raphael Semmes House is located in Alabama
Raphael Semmes House
Raphael Semmes House is located in the United States
Raphael Semmes House
Location804 Government Street
Mobile, Alabama
Coordinates 30°41′12″N 88°3′8″W / 30.68667°N 88.05222°W / 30.68667; -88.05222
RAPHAEL SEMMES HOUSE Latitude and Longitude:

30°41′12″N 88°3′8″W / 30.68667°N 88.05222°W / 30.68667; -88.05222
ArchitectPeter Horta
Architectural styleFederal, Greek Revival
NRHP reference # 70000110 [1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 26, 1970

The Raphael Semmes House, also known as the Horta–Semmes House, is a historic residence in Mobile, Alabama. It is best known for having been the home of Admiral Raphael Semmes, captain of the Confederate sloop-of-war CSS Alabama. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 26, 1970. [1]


The Raphael Semmes House was built by its first owner, Peter Horta, in 1858. [1] The structure was purchased in 1871 by the citizens of Mobile and presented to Raphael Semmes. Semmes lived here until his death in 1877. In the mid-twentieth century Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Linyer Bedsole purchased and restored the house, donating it on April 22, 1946 to the First Baptist Church of Mobile situated next door. It was given in memory of their son, Lt. Joseph Linyer Bedsole, Jr., who was killed in action over Germany during World War II. [2] [3]


The overall exterior design of the two-story brick townhouse is in a simple Federal style, with a Greek Revival entrance doorway and surround. The front (south) facade is adorned with a full-width cast iron porch across the ground floor, added in the 1870s. The ironwork features a floral design motif. Due to the narrow city lot upon which it was built, the house is much longer than it is wide. The main body of the house measures approximately 30 feet (9.1 m) wide by 40 feet (12 m) deep. A two-story rear ell is attached to the northwest corner of the main house and measures approximately 15 feet (4.6 m) wide by 27 feet (8.2 m) deep, extending the entire depth of the house to 67 feet (20 m). The ell served as the service wing and was fronted on the courtyard side by wooden galleries on both floors that adjoined the matching rear galleries of the main house. [3]

The interior layout features a stair hall on the west side of the house, on both floors. The stairway is mahogany with turned spindles. The stair hall opens onto a parlor and dining room on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second floor. The parlor and dining room both retain their original black marble mantles. The service ell contains a kitchen and storage room on the first floor and two servant rooms on the second. [3]


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Joseph Linyer Bedsole". Alabama Academy of Honor. Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  3. ^ a b c "Horta–Semmes House & Fence". Historic American Buildings Survey. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-08-26.