By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow
This semester, History professor Dr. Sharony Green taught “The Nineteenth Century City” (HY 300) about the development of urban culture in the United States. As a final class project, her students developed a film about nineteenth century buildings in Tuscaloosa, which can be seen at the end of this post.
In order to conduct their research, the class visited Hoole Library back in August, seeking information on Bryce Hospital, First National Bank (now the Italian restaurant DePalma’s), Hunter Chapel AME Zion Church, Christ Episcopal Church, St John the Baptist Catholic Church, the Collier-Boone House, the Jemison Mansion, the Peck House, and the Kennedy-Foster House. Additionally, the class investigated The University of Alabama’s nineteenth century buildings, which include the Round House, Woods Hall, the President’s Mansion, Manly Hall, and the recently-demolished Kilgore House.
Hoole Library prepared a handout for Dr. Green’s class on the best resources for studying these structures, which can be seen here as a PDF: The Nineteenth Century City_KMedit
Below is Sydnia Keene Smyth’s 1929 MA thesis on local architectural styles. This thesis is a great resource for afficianados of local history and is featured on the teaching guide created for “The Nineteenth Century City.” One of the most interesting aspects of this thesis is that Smyth’s original photos are pasted into the text.
Yesterday, on December 4, Dr. Green’s students screened the film that resulted from their research. Afterward, Katherine Richter of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society spoke on the Society’s efforts to maintain, promote, and preserve these structures.
“Tuscalooasa: The Nineteenth Century City” represents the type of innovative project that results when University of Alabama students, faculty, and staff collaborate alongside members of the local community.