Alcazar Shrine Temple
was built in 1973, and it facilitated the relocation of the Alcazar Shrine from Madison Avenue (opposite Cramton Bowl). The Shriners is a fun-loving fraternity (no connection to Islam) founded some 120 years ago as a branch of the Masonic Order. Early on it adopted Arabian themes to herald it […]

Alcazar Shrine Temple

Bear Lumber 1
at 25 East Jefferson, where it has been ensconced for some 65 years. Rough-and-tumble T. L. Bear started it in the mid-1930s as a general building contractor, but in the early days he was frowned upon by the grand old-time contractors of the day. To fix that, “TL” got himself […]

Bear Lumber

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

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 […]


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

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

Powder Magazine
was built in 1862 as a safe place to store gun powder, like in out-of-town. The windowless structure has 2-foot thick brick walls, and still has its original slate roof. The walls are plain, except for an elaborate brickwork frieze. It is located in “Powder Magazine Park”, just off Bell […]

Powder Magazine

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

Bellinger Hill
was built in 1904, and appears to be mostly Italianate Style. Today it serves our system as the Department of Special Ed, but in its day it generated as many cherished memories as any building in our city. The school had dedicated teachers, put on plays, was famous for May […]

Bellinger Hill Elementary School

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

Trimble Hall
If you have never seen a redheaded stepchild, this just might be your chance. This poor, off color, neglected building sits on the back side of the Huntingdon campus, behind the boiler house. It faces Woodley Road without so much as a paved driveway to mark its existence. It is […]

Huntingdon Trimble Hall

Crump Community
was opened in the late 1970s as the Highland Ave Adult Center, and renamed for Muriel Crump ca 1994. Before 1975 the building was the Highland Ave Church of Christ, and had been that since it was built in the 1920s. Sad to say, this facility was recently closed, and […]

Crump Community Center

is a private K-12 coed school located at 1700 E Trinity Blvd (off Carmichael). Trinity has almost 1,000 students, and was founded ca 1970 by Trinity Presbyterian Church. In 1973 the school constructed its first building and moved to this location. -Charles Humphries

Trinity Presbyterian School

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

State Trooper Licensing
out on Coliseum Boulevard. It was built in 1954. Alabama’s Trooper unit was created in 1935 as The Alabama Highway Patrol, back when Bibb Graves was governor. It began with 74 officers, who underwent a ten day crash course at the Gay-Teague Hotel on Commerce Street. Gov Graves intended that […]

State Trooper Licensing Unit

Bonnie Crest
at 1410 Federal Drive, features an 18-hole golf course which was opened in 1938. The club is presently facing difficulty, and while it still operates as a private club, its course was recently opened for public play. This entrance drive stands directly opposite the Beard Building. -Charles Humphries

Bonnie Crest Country Club

Lakeview Center
sits on Eastchase Lane, out behind the Eastchast shopping city. It is a 4-story, 100,000+ square foot, Class-A office building, the first of four structures planned to form a 30-acre “office campus” at this site. The building houses (among others) the corporate offices of the Jim Wilson Associates that built […]

Lakeview Center