A photographer friend and I were chatting about our art and the conversation turned to our love for abandoned locations. He told me of one in Alabama that he photographed his lover in on the outskirts of Mobile, Alabama. I recognized it from the first photograph he shared that he had taken of his lover that was in a window there.
The I first time I I saw Jakob was in a photo from a Mobile Fashion Week from his Facebook page. In the photo, he is wearing a very structured purple raincoat. It's a striking photo of Jakob who is a smokingly hot young man. I reached out immediately and a friendship began. I told him I was dying to photograph him and he obliged and we did the shoot right away. The first shoot was in New Orleans in my studio and by the railroad tracks by the ri. The next was on one of my visits to Mobile when he surprised me by taking me to this beautiful abandon mansion. I am a control freak and love being in charge and knowing what is about to happen so I had to find a way to relax to be in an adventure that I Was not "in charge"of. I had no.idea of the treasure that was about to be revealed. It was the perfect overcast day with the perfect light.
The Outlaw house dates back to 1914 and was in the Spanish Colonial Revival style . The house was designed by George Bigelow Rogers; who designed the Mobile Public Library, the Bellingrath House, and the Van Antwerp Building. It's rumored that George Outlaw "won" the house in a poker game.
Outlaw is also rumoured to have been an FBI agent who moved to Mobile to investigate a threat made by the Ku Klux Klan against the leader of a multicultural group. Later, Outlaw was elected twice the mayor of Mobile and was also a successful businessman who started the Morrison's Cafeteria chain with his business partner J.A. Morrison with the first one in Mobile. J. A. The two developed the cafeteria dining concept.
Morrison's Cafeterias was a chain of restaurants that were located in the Southeastern part of the United States that were usually found in shopping malls. Morrison's steadily expanded becoming the nation's largest cafeteria chain. Morrison's primary competition was Piccadilly Cafeterias. Morrison's Cafeterias were most popular in Florida because of the high population of caucasian retirees that lived there. Morrison's Cafeterias were a symbol of good Southern home-style cooking with a modest price, offering more than 100 food items prepared "homemade" daily. What began as a single cafeteria in 1920 in Mobile, Alabama quickly turned into a chain with at their height 150 locations in thirteen states like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. Then after winning a contract to cater for the cast and crew of the film The Greatest Show on Earth, Morrison's branched out into catering contracts for schools, universities and hospitals.
Civil Rights and The integration of Morrison's
Morrison Cafeterias were founded and operated as a racially-segregated private business. that only served white people. In Nashville, most other restaurants agreed to serve non-whites in the early 1960s in response to the civil rights movement, but Morrison's stubbornly refused. Civil rights demonstrations were held at Morrison's Cafeteria in Nashville in 1964, with police attacking peaceful protesters in front of the restaurant. The governor of Tennessee called the president of Morrison's to beg him to desegregate his restaurants, but he refused saying he would never serve blacks. A group of whites brought black guests to the restaurant, and the manager had them all arrested. About 95 peaceful demonstrators were arrested inside and outside of Morrison's that week. Morrison's management then obtained a court injunction to prevent further civil rights demonstrations against the company.
Morrison's New Orleans East
New Orleans Mayor Mark Morial greets the Morrison's Cafeteria diners in New Orleans East.