Daily Archives: February 21, 2016


Monroe St Phase
As Dr. Bronner outlined it early in 1992, the Monroe Street segment would consist of seven structures.  Two major office buildings, three large parking decks, a child care center and an outlet mall.  Three architectural firms would be included in the action–PH&J would design the two office buildings and the […]

RSA Union – The Monroe Street Phase


RSA Clipping
For at least a half-century, the lower end of Monroe Street had been the downtown domain of the black community.  Located there were the stores which catered to a black trade, their own movie theater, barber shops, etc.  Monroe Street was not a good address. When word went out that […]

RSA Union – What’s In A Name




Rice Semple House
To assuage the Acting State Finance Director, Jimmy Rowell, Bronner agreed to build a stand-alone multistory parking deck just behind the Lurleen Wallace State Office Building and near the State Capitol.  In turn the Finance Director agreed that the State would vacate its gravel parking lots on the block which […]

RSA Union – The Tar Baby


Park and Tower
January 6, 2000, turned out to be a warm sunny day.  Almost 300 people attended the celebration.  The descendant families of five of the six honorees were present and basked in the glory being heaped on their ancestor.  All three television stations had crews there and favorably reported on the […]

RSA Pavilion – Dedication Day


Park Dedication Clipping
Our project suffered one delay after another.  One year turned into two, and two into three.   During that period the RSA’s Deputy Director, Bill Walsh, died and Dr. Bronner was suddenly beset with remorse over the way he had treated him.   He directed that we name the park for him, […]

RSA Pavilion – Greta Spills The Beans





Mayor Bright
Six weeks before the dedication Montgomery elected itself a new mayor.  In a startling upset, unassuming and inept attorney Bobby Bright bested incumbent Emory Folmar in a spirited run-off.  My personal ogre was gone.  Our city was heading down a new path, and all the RSA’s and my relationships with […]

RSA Pavilion – A New Mayor





Brown Paper Plantation Owner
As noted earlier, during the conceptual process, I constantly struggled with Larry over the political correctness of the history panels that he was creating.  It seems strange for someone born and raised in the East Alabama Black Belt, but apparently Larry had this compulsion to ennoble the Indians, to aggrandize […]

RSA Pavilion – Larry’s Prejudice



Mary Ann Neeley
Now let’s forget all that ugly stuff and get back to park planning and research.  Establishing the seven historic eras was not all that difficult, nor was thinking up the important events that might be depicted for each era.  I started with the profound reference volume, “Know Alabama”, and quickly […]

RSA Pavilion – Seven Eras


Seven Flags
This was a fairly routine aspect of our history concept for the park.  I solicited help from Ann Tidmore, Montgomery’s flag lady extraordinaire for the past 35 years, to assist with the research.  In no time we came up with an “official” list of flags which had flown over our […]

RSA Pavilion – Seven Flags


Tablet Design and Brainstorm
Dr. Bronner now acts like he thought up the park for the “six unsung heroes”, but that is not quite the truth.  The six-honoree concept came very late in the process and, as you already know, only after a number of other approaches were considered and discarded. After much struggle […]

RSA Pavilion – Six Honorees




Don Juan Mast
While we were still agonizing over a suitable theme for our pavilion structure, Dr. Bronner mentioned our struggle to his history-buff buddy, retired General Will Hill Tankersley.  Will Hill declared that the park should feature the 75-foot-tall main mast of the Spanish man-of-war, Don Juan de Austria, salvaged from that […]

RSA Pavilion – Will Hill and the Ship’s Mast




Pavilion Concept Drawing
For weeks after our maintenance building project was canceled, we all speculated about the fate of the east end of the C-shaped parcel.  Some of us suggested to Bronner that it be utilized as additional parking space to support the Tower, but he would have none of that.  He wanted […]

RSA Pavilion – The Concept