Monday, May 11, 2015

History Panels in Jefferson Tower at UAB

Despite all the construction at UAB in recent decades, Jefferson Tower remains one of the most distinctive buildings on campus. The sixteen-story structure opened in December 1939 as the county's Jefferson Hospital and a few years later became part of the UA School of Medicine. It served as University Hospital until the North Pavilion opened; all inpatient activities were transferred there by September 2010. Various offices and clinics now occupy the building.

In the lobby of the main entrance are six panels that offer historical photos around various themes. The panels are labelled Change, Education, Tradition, Community, Care, Service. I managed to get semi-decent photographs of three of them, as seen below.

I'm not sure how long these panels have been up, but I've been at UAB since 1983 and have walked by them for many years. Originally a mix of historic and contemporary photos, this UAB Archives exhibit has become all historical by now. The University's archives date to 1990, but these panels have an even older aura. 

As I've noted in previous blog posts, such as the one on the Hillman Hospital Annex Cornerstone, most of us walk by history every day and never notice. 

Jefferson-Hillman Hospital around 1945, roughly the time the University of Alabama School of Medicine moved from Tuscaloosa and became a four-year program. Dig those cool cars! And I wish Jefferson Tower still had that striking entrance.
Source: University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections

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