Nix Center History

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nix center

The beautiful James P. Nix Senior Activity Center is located at 1 Bayou Drive in Fairhope providing daily activities for anyone over the age of 50.  It was named by the City Council in honor of the city’s former mayor of 28 years, James P. Nix.  The center officially opened its doors in December of 1997.  In the ensuing years, this unique center has increased its membership from approximately 650 to over 1,200.  People from nearly every state in the union have visited, as well as people from Japan, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Sweden, Guatemala, and France.  Contingencies from other states have come from as far away as Michigan to see the center and to gather information on how to build a successful Senior Center.

Several things make the James P. Nix Center unique.  First, the city owns the center and put $2 million into creating it.  Second, local businesses sponsor programs with money and time.  Third, over 10 capable volunteers assist the staff to handle all kinds of tasks and create a smooth operation.  Fourth, one former member, Ms. Doris Chennell, generously furnished about 80% of the building with antiques and fine furniture, which lends a very special touch.

"Elegance" and "quality" are two words that come to mind when one enters the Nix Center.  There are lovely crystal chandeliers in the entrance foyer, rotunda, and ballroom; soft oriental rugs in the conference room; large gilt-framed mirrors in various places to reflect the lovely floral arrangements and paintings; a quiet mood in the library conducive to sitting with a good book from the lending library or reflecting on life; and the richness of the mahogany furniture in the card room welcoming the daily bridge and canasta players.  Many members proudly bring visiting friends and relatives to tour the facility where the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.  Each guest is greeted as they come in the door and southern hospitality is plentiful.  The coffee pot is always on!

Interesting artifacts fill the Nix Center and add to its quality decor.  In the library is a Napoleonic Sword created in Spain by famous goldsmith Martin Biennais in 1809 as well as a copy of The Accolade, an E.B. Leighton painting showing an accolade ceremony conferring knighthood in medieval times.  Over the front desk is a bas-relief of Anahita Flight of Night by William Morris Hunt.  There are beautiful Italian pieces of furniture throughout the Center and several paintings of Italian Gardens.  These paintings are wooden half-rounds used during the Renaissance by landscape architects to display their colorful plans.  In the card room, there are china cabinets displaying lovely hand-painted china pieces done by members of the Center.

Social programs for seniors are aimed at educating, informing and entertaining, to enhance the quality of their lives.  Some of the programs offered are: "Tea Time" which includes a variety of informative speakers, "To Your Health" bringing medical personnel in to speak, potluck luncheons, bridge (party & duplicate), hand and foot, mahjong, dominoes, pool & billiards, ballroom dancing, line dancing, support groups, ice cream socials, birthday parties, blood pressure screenings and much more!

Hours of operation, are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. 

The phone number is 251-928-2835. 

For information or comments, email the Nix Center Facility Manager, Ari Tillman  email icon.