The Emanuel-Staples-Pake Building at the northeast corner of St. Michael and North Royal is a great example of one of Mobile’s historic treasures hidden in plain sight. The Historic Mobile Preservation Society calls it the “grandest surviving of Mobile’s 1850s commercial storefronts.

HMPS said the building’s five three-story units had a facelift in 1904 but it was the street-occupancy by a pair of upscale restaurants in the 1990s and 2000s that most recently acquainted Mobilians with it. The grandeur was enough to have it placed on the National Register.

HMPS will host their awards ceremony in the historic building on Sept. 25 at 5:30 p.m. The soiree tagged Columns and Cocktails features a live art auction, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails all for a $45 ticket. You can tour the building’s unique carriageway, rear courtyard, mosaic floors, spiral staircase and exquisite plasterwork while aiding a worthy cause.

For more info, call 251-432-6161.

Those who prefer the al fresco experience can meet up with Cart Blackwell, an architectural historian with the Mobile Historic Development Commission for a walking tour of one of the city’s earliest suburbs right in the heart of Midtown. That neighborhood is Leinkauf and Blackwell said its grid-type development is a classic example of early 20th century residential planning.

The areas bordered by Houston, Government, Ann and Virginia streets is one of the city’s older planned neighborhoods and contains a marvelous display of historic homes in a wide array of sizes and styles. The tour meets up Saturday, Sept. 27 at the gates of Flo-Claire – across Government from Winn-Dixie – at 10 a.m.

The plan is the stroll McDonald Avenue and West Street as Blackwell tells about the neighborhood, development, suburbia, developers, businesses, preservationists and the city’s ethnic heritage.

Advance tickets are required and run $15 each. To reserve tickets, email Proceeds will benefit the Leinkauf Historic District Neighborhood Organization.