Monthly Archives: March 2016

Looking at the flea market image on Coliseum Boulevard, you would never suspect that long ago this modest strip-mall was East Montgomery’s answer to the mighty Normandale Shopping Center on the South side of town. Birmingham’s Loveman’s Department Store anchored Normandale, so the Montgomery Fair, our homegrown version, became the […]

Eastbrook Shopping Center

Steiners-Lobman 1
…stands at the corner of Commerce and Tallapoosa. By 1900, lower Commerce had become the wholesale center of central Alabama. The wide street was paved with Belgian granite ballast blocks. It was an impressive street, and the most impressive building on it was the 1891 Steiner-Lobman wholesale dry goods building. […]

Steiner-Lobman Building

…out along Chantilly Parkway, from wince the parkway took its name, built circa 1835. When speeding down the parkway, you can still see the old house if you know the exact instant to look. During the latter part of the previous century, the structure was often rented out as a […]

Chantilly Plantation House

777 S Lawrence
is directly behind the ”Y” on Lawrence Street.  It was built with great pride in 1964, back when it had only two floors and an open court at its center. The design won an AIA Regional Honor Award. It became the center of a 3-building complex that we grandly called […]

777 South Lawrence

Downtown YMCA
on South Perry just South of I-85, was built in 1963 and represented a giant step for the Montgomery “Y”, which was then only 15 years old. Back then this was a neighborhood facility, male only, which also accommodated the business community. Today this center is adult only, and because […]

Downtown YMCA

Bldg 841
one of the (formerly) historic hangers on the Base, built with WPA money during the depression years, and which, less than a decade later, met such a vital need for the flying school programs there just before and during World War II. Wonderfully constructed, probably under the supervision of Algenon […]

Maxwell’s Building 841

VA Regional Office
Located off Perry Hill Road on the grounds of the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, was built in 1994. Let’s call it “VA Georgian”, a creation evolved and imposed by a VA staffer in Washington (he first imposed it on a project that PH&J had at the Tuscaloosa VA back in […]

VA Regional Office

Jeff Davis Hotel
Located on Montgomery Street, it was our convention center in 1969. That year the Gulf States Region of the A.I.A. met in Montgomery for its semiannual gathering. The hotel had recently added two stacked banquet halls by enclosing the space between itself and the adjacent Sheppard Building. Wonderful accommodations. At […]

Jefferson Davis Hotel

Highland Avenue
Built in 1903, somewhat Romanesque in style. Still a school after 100-plus years. It fronts on a wide boulevard which originally had street car tracks in its median. The tracks were laid about 1890 when Montgomery’s streetcar system was electrified –the first in the world. My wife’s great grandfather, Robert […]

Highland Avenue School

Kahl Montgomery
…meaning Jewish Congregation of Montgomery, was chartered in 1852. The Kahl completed this Romanesque Revival structure on Catoma Street in 1862, even as the Civil War raged, using the design of a Philadelphia architect. The Lehman brothers, who had started a most successful store and cotton exchange in Montgomery, worshiped […]

Kahl Montgomery

Green Lantern
It’s at the corner of Carter Hill and McGehee Roads and where I banked. Back as far as the “Roaring 20s”, out on the outskirts of town, there was this notorious dive called the Green Lantern on this site. It was “gangster built”, dark inside, had a dance floor, served platter-sized steaks. […]

Green Lantern Branch Bank