About the Vincent-Doan House
Home of the Mobile Medical Museum since 2004, the Vincent-Doan House is Mobile's oldest home that is still standing in its original location. It was built in 1827 by Captain Benjamin Vincent, who commanded several cargo vessels that ran between New Orleans and Mobile. The Vincent family's primary residence at the time was on St. Emanuel Street. They built a new summer house in an area then known as Summerville (now the Springhill Avenue area of midtown Mobile), to escape the humidity and communicable diseases such as yellow fever.
The house is the oldest remaining example of French Creole architecture in Mobile. French Creole is one of the three major architectural traditions from the American colonial period, and it is rarely found today outside the state of Louisiana. The house has many distinctive architectural features, from its Spanish terra cotta floor tiles in the kitchen area, to its elegant, two-story exterior staircase, to its pitched second-floor porch deck.
Over the next one hundred years, the house went through several owners. In 1900, J.C. McNamara purchased the house and later hired Mobile architect C.L. Hutchisson to make extensive alterations. In 1927, new owner Alabama Walsh hired Hutchisson's son, C.L. Hutchisson, Jr., to make additional renovations. By the 1980's, the house was vacant and in a state of disrepair. Betty and Dennis Doan, who had moved to Mobile from Dallas, Texas, purchased the house from the heirs of Marie Walsh Crawford and restored it to its former glory. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and sold to the University of South Alabama seven years later.