HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville city leaders announced Friday that May will be Historic Preservation Month, shining a spotlight on numerous historic downtown features while hosting public events, walking tours and social media campaign.
“Preservation allows us to showcase our history, and one that includes public and private enthusiasm and commitment,” Mayor Tommy Battle said at the announcement, which was held at the roof-top bar Baker & Able, part of 106 Jefferson Hotel. “And our history is something that we celebrate on a day-to-day basis here in Huntsville.”
“Here in the city of Huntsville we look forward to the stars and to the future and what it’s going to mean for us. We’re also big enough that we can take a look back,” City Councilman Bill Kling said.
To Kling and City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps, it’s also the histories of the buildings that make up Huntsville’s skyline that give the city its identity.
“The City of Huntsville’s history began downtown, and commercial properties have always played an integral part to its development and revitalization,” Stamps said.
“I’m proud that we are a part of a community where we can look forward, but at the same time we can bend over and take care of the history and heritage we have by preserving our downtown heritage that we have,” Kling said.
Featured commercial properties include the I. Schiffman Building, which has been owned and preserved by the Schiffman and Goldsmith families since 1905, the city said.
Other spots include the Clinton Row Shops & Downtown Storage and the former Yarborough Hotel, where Downtown Huntsville, Inc. is located.
Free guided walking tours of downtown Huntsville will be offered on Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m., and Friday, May 20 at 6 .pm.. Led by City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps, tours will depart from the historic First National Bank Building on West Side Square. Attendees will experience Huntsville’s downtown evolution from its earliest settlers to the Space Race and beyond.
Other in-person events coinciding with Historic Preservation Month include:
- Historic Huntsville Foundation’s historic marker unveiling honoring Dr. Frances Cabaniss Roberts at 11 a.m. Friday, May 6, at 603 Randolph Ave.
- Five Points Porch Fest will be from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, May 7.
- “Rooted in History: Women as Creators, Movers & Shakers” exhibit will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, at Harrison Brothers Hardware on the Square.