Friday, August 22, 2014

Birmingham Photo of the Day (20): Powell School

Here is another photograph from the 1908 book Views of Birmingham.

Today Powell School is a burned-out structure that came close to being  demolished after a fire in January 2011. Built in 1888 on the site of the first city school, Powell is the oldest school building remaining in the city. 

The photo below shows the school in its glory days. The winter season gives a good view of the building; three figures--perhaps students--are sitting in front to the right of the main entrance. 

Birmingham City Schools closed Powell School in 2001, but continued to use the building for a few years. The structure was vacant at the time of the fire. In late 2011 the property was donated to the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Bhamwiki site has an extensive history that includes a drawing of the original school that opened in 1874 and a photo of the building in 2008. In May 2014 the Birmingham News published an article indicating that the property may be purchased from the Trust and the building renovated into apartments. One can only hope.       

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