GWTN Mansion 1
I just knew this impressive GWTW Mansion at 3245 Thomas Avenue had a story to tell, but I just couldn’t find it. I knew it was the home of RR Equip mogul Royce Kershaw in 1946, and five years later it was the dwelling of William Thames, founder of Thames […]

GWTN Mansion

Algernon Blair House
Blair built it in 1904 for his wife Carolyne. She and their three children had just left Macon GA to join him in Montgomery where Blair had found success as a building contractor. But Carolyne died the very next year, and while Algernon remarried a few years later (into the […]

Algernon Blair House

The Southern Poverty Law Center and its Civil Rights Memorial, located on the corner of Washington and Hull. Morris founded it in 1971, using his share of the Fuller & Dees cookbook killing, and it soon stirred up a wrath. Morris Dees and his Center was bombed along about 1982, […]

Southern Poverty Law Center

It is the first thing past Oakwood Cemetery, sitting on a hill so high it looks down on the cemetery. The home was established in 1917 by the Federation of Women’s Clubs, but for its first 40-odd years it was known as the Children’s Protective Home. The Home’s current quarters […]

Brantwood Children’s Home

Belvoir Mansion
at 3250 Thomas Avenue, was built in the mid-1920s, when Thomas was little more than a country lane. The large estate is surrounded by an intimidating wall, and the structure appears to be a blending of Washington’s neo-classical Georgian Mount Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson’s penchant for Palladian style. In French, […]

Belvoir Mansion

Upchurch Residence
AKA Monticello lives on, at 2233 Woodley Road was built by Ken Upchurch Sr to fulfill a lifelong ambition. Ken founded Upchurch Construction Co in 1930, a venture that still exists today, carried on by Ken Jr, and now Ken III. Ken Sr spent 30 years planning and dreaming about […]

Upchurch Residence

Shoppes Mulberry
This quaint little row of specialty shops sort of rose up by mutation over the last thirty years or so, and now the “Mulberry District” is a favorite place. It surely does represent American free enterprise at its best. At one time this land was part of A P Tyson […]

Shoppes at Mulberry

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

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 […]


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