Yearly Archives: 2016


Ben Moore 2
The once fine Ben Moore Hotel . . . located at 902 High Street (where it intersects with South Jackson), was built in 1952 near the center of Centennial Hill, the prestigious Black business district and neighborhood of that era. It was still new in 1954, when Martin Luther King […]

Ben Moore Hotel


Crump Center
Oh, the irony of it all. A couple years ago the Crump Center, a City-operated redoubt for the Still-Agile-Elderly, was moved from its former smallish Elizabethan Style home on Highland Avenue, way out onto Federal (now Congressman Dickinson) Drive, past the Coliseum. Today the center holds forth in this huge, […]

Crump Center


Hillcrest
the one-time home of the Montgomery  Federation of Garden Clubs. The Federation purchased the former residence of Judge William Hill in the late 1960s, and for at least 35 years it used the facility to stage weddings, receptions, luncheons, teas and meetings. Garden parties amidst the lush landscaping were a […]

Hillcrest





Downtown Post Office
on Catoma Street sits directly opposite the Davis Building on the site of the old Davis Motor Co (whose mechanic wrecked my Pontiac in 1953, when he took it from the shop to run a personal errand).  This was built in 1977, during the Carter Administration, when our “real Post […]

Downtown Post Office



Sage Blockhouse 2
The 4-story reinforced concrete blockhouse . . . at Gunter Annex was constructed in 1957 as part of a hush-hush AF system which was to provide early warning of a Soviet nuclear attack. Us citizens were sure this facility would lead the Soviets to target Montgomery if they decided to attack. […]

Sage Blockhouse


Meadhaven
an adjunct of Baptist Hospital South, built in 1962 from a generous contribution of Arthur Mead. Initially it was a 40-bed nursing home; a decade later it was converted to hospital use, still later to psychiatric beds. Today its grand porch for rocking chairs has been filled in, its lawns […]

Meadhaven


Morningview 2
During the Depression years our Board of Education bore much criticism for the “extravagant castles” (Lanier and Capitol Heights JrHi) it had built during the Roaring Twenties. Ergo, even before WW II had started, a no-nonsense contractor, T L Bear, had been elected to the Board. Soon after the war […]

Morningview Elementary



Davis Building
now part of the Troy University Montgomery campus. It was built by mogul Horace Davis circa 1959, when his Davis Motor Co (Pontiacs & Cadillac’s) held forth directly across the street, and its prime first floor tenant was GMAC.  For two decades, this structure held the home offices of the […]

Davis Building


Troy Clock
just one block beyond the Bell Building. The tower is topped with the “flame of learning”, and it stands as the herald of Troy University’s Montgomery Campus. The campus engulfs Montgomery Street, and  has transformed the image of that street. Troy University began in Troy, Alabama in 1887 as Troy […]

Troy’s Clock Tower


Falconer
was built ca 1845, but was moved from its original location at the SW corner of Perry & Alabama, to make way for a parking lot (it now sits directly behind Knox Hall). Much of the structure was lost in the move. Falconer had little to do with the house; […]

Falconer House



Moulton House
built in 1858 by Jefferson Jackson to be his home, but it later served as the “Working Woman’s Home” for over 100 years. It stood on the SE corner of Adams and Union Streets, on the site now occupied by the new RSA Headquarters. In 1881 the house was purchased […]

Moulton House



Alley tank
I love the idea of the downtown Alley Bars and nightlife, but I’m having a hard time with Jeff’s tank. Pity the poor Architectural Review Board, which had to rule on it as appropriate for a historic district (of which I was a member at its inception a half-century ago). […]

The Alleyway Tank



George Wallace Grave
Here in the lighthouse circle astride the Greenwood Cemetery entrance drive, lies the remains of the renowned George Corley Wallace, powerful political figure, elected governor of Alabama four terms (five if you count Lurleen), twice 3rd party candidate for POTUS. His wife, Governor Lurleen, lies beside him. The Ionic columns […]

George Wallace Grave


Desoto Rock
The de Soto Rock monument is appropriately ensconced within the Academic Circle at Maxwell, directly in front of the History Building. The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto trekked through these parts circa 1540, and supposedly he encamped on the river bluff site that ultimately became Maxwell AFB. -Charles Humphries

De Soto Rock Monument




3354 Bankhead
This day and time you don’t often find homes which have been in one family for 50 years or more. Our society has grown too mobile. Back when I was a lad, the family unit was the glue, and those that could built or bought a place large enough to […]

Shan Sellers Home


Kilby Prison
In 1970 the Old Kilby Prison was nearing its demise, but still in operation. It was Alabama’s Alcatraz, built 1922, huge, forbidding, located only 4 miles from downtown on a site that is now the NE corner of old Federal Drive and Coliseum Blvd. Its 20-foot high, 6-foot thick perimeter […]

Old Kilby Prison


Grover Keyton
This cottage in Old Cloverdale was built circa 1917 and is hailed as the first house built on that street. This part of Park Avenue runs right behind the huge First Methodist enclave, and since this pattern book cottage preceded the church at this location by a decade, it can […]

Grover Keyton Home







Greyhound 1
Oh, how sad you are, Greyhound. What a comedown from the grand bus system I knew as a boy! Back then, bus stations were in impressive buildings located within walking distance of the train depot, to facilitate passenger transfers. In all the larger towns they boasted covered loading, and often […]

Greyhound Bus Station


Cloverdale Shopping Center 1
on South Court, ancient and decrepit –but still vibrant. It was the centerpiece of Folmar & Flinn’s vast Cloverland Housing development of the late 1940s –a stunning achievement for that era. Of course, the sidewalk covers were added later. The TruValue hardware store you see was the Cloverland Grocery anchor […]

Cloverland Shopping Center


FedEx Offices
in Gunter Industrial Park are in the section that serves as front door to the park. This is one of the first and most successful industrial parks in Alabama. It was developed on land ceded back to the city by DoD in 1973, when Gunter AFB was downsized and became […]

FedEx Offices