Public Safety Building

Public Safety Building

Thats what we call it now, but it was the State Highway Dept when it was built, back when the state teachers only taught, and the AHD ran the state. This was the second of the six buildings that surround our State Capitol, and is the one that set the style they all followed. It’s constructed of poured concrete, painted, and for decades the Portland Cement Assoc ran full-page ads in national architectural mags lauding Alabama’s concrete buildings. This building was quite small and inefficient, so the Highway Dept built themselves a big one behind the capitol; that one became the Statehouse, and the AHD moved its empire out on Colesium Blvd. The above pic is a few years old, taken before the wings were extended.

-Charles Humphries

1940 State Highway Department

1940 – Crew standing in front of the newly completed building. Courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History

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