RSA Dexter
Tthe latest RSA endeavor stands defiantly at the head of Dexter and encompasses the old Supreme Court building (see below). Inside this 12 floor building is many office spaces and even a state of the art data center (also below). RSA Dexter is the third tallest building in the city. The shot allows […]

RSA Dexter

RSA Union
  The ten-story RSA Union office building stands at the intersection of Monroe and Union streets, diagonally adjacent to and behind the State Capitol.  It turned out to be my favorite of the Retirement Systems buildings which PH&J designed.  Perhaps my favor resulted from its low-keyed elegance.  Possibly it was […]

RSA Union

This tiny odd-shaped park utilized the last scrap of land assembled by RSA for its mammoth Monroe Street undertaking in 1992. The park, dedicated in January of 2000, acknowledges Montgomery’s seven historical eras and honors six unsung heroes who contributed to the progress of each era. I am afraid that […]

RSA Pavilion Park

on Adams Avenue, was constructed by RSA in 1989 in the same contract with the RSA Plaza. The ACC was conceived as an appropriate venue in which to assemble all the State’s industry seeking arms, and to provide for them all the tools necessary for their success. Besides ADO, ADECA, […]

Alabama Center for Commerce

RSA Activity Center
While the six RSA office structures in Montgomery are clad in white pre-cast concrete (in deference to the six concrete State office buildings in the Capitol Complex), the Activity Center is red brick to compliment the Seed & Feed, which stands facing Dexter on the opposite end of the block. […]

RSA Activity Center

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