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 the RSA was going to spend all that money on Monroe, many citizens were appalled, not being able to comprehend that the scope and depth of what was to take place would completely reshape the image of that part of downtown.
Bronner, who hailed from Minnesota, had little feel and less concern for local flavor, and suggested that we design the new 10-story office building behind the Capitol so that it would face Monroe Street. It was yours truly who vehemently protested that proposal and insisted that it should face Union Street and be called the RSA Union. My wife, who had grown up in Montgomery and was steeped in the lore and traditions of downtown, sent emphatic word to Dr. Bronner that none of his buildings could have the “M” word (Monroe) in its title.
-Charles Humphries (“Peril and Intrigue Within Architecture”)