The Huntsville Historic Districts have been around this growing and thriving city well before its most famous landmark.
Even though when most people think about this City they think of the space museums, there is a lot more to it.
In fact, what is not a well-known fact about Huntsville, is that there are more antebellum homes, (pre-Civil War), than any place in the State of Alabama.
The Twickenham Historic District
The Twickenham Historic District is the first of the Huntsville Historic Districts, and it was designated by the city as historic in 1972.
The name Twickenham was the first name of Huntsville in the year 1810, and it did not take it long to grow and prosper.
In fact, by the year 1819, it was the largest Territory in the state of Alabama.
However, it did not stop there, as by the mid 1800’s it had become the cotton trading center for all of the Tennessee Valley.
As the early merchants and other people of influence became wealthy off of its growth, they started to build very impressive homes in the area.
Most of these homes were seized by the Union troops during the end of the Civil War, and a lot of them were damaged or destroyed.
However, a lot of them survived, and today this historic district in Huntsville has the largest collection of Pre-Civil War homes in the State.
The name Twickenham came from a man named Leroy Pope, as he named it after a town in England by the same name.
This historic district features homes that were built in both the Greek revival as well as the Federal styles.
The original architect was George Steele from Virginia.
This historic district is a virtual living museum, as some of the homes date as far back as the year 1814.
These homes actually make up over one-half of the original town, and the most famous of these is the Weeden House Museum.
The Weeden House was the original home of the artist and poet Maria Howard Weeden, and it is open to the public.
There are 65 pre-Civil war homes in the first of the Huntsville Historic Districts.
The Old Town District
The next of the Huntsville Historic Districts is the Old Town District, which was designated a Historical Preservation District in 1974.
It also features the Greek revival and Federal styles, but it also features the American Craftsman, as well as the Queen Anne styles.
The homes date back to the mid to late 1820’s, and run all the way through the early 1900’s.
The growth in this part the city was spurred because it was within walking distance to what were then the Memphis and Charleston Railroad depots.
It was also within walking distance of the town’s first cotton mill.
It was incorporated in 1866 into the city proper, where another cotton mill, the Dallas Mill, was built.
The Five Points Historic District
Next of the list of the Huntsville Historic Districts, in the Five Points District, which consists primarily of Bungalow style homes built around the end of the 1800’s, and the beginning of the 1900’s.
It includes the Queen Anne style, the California Bungalow, the Cape Code style, as well as other less glamorous pre-Civil War homes.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Homes in 2012, most were built when Huntsville was becoming a booming mill town.
These homes were built for the middle-class citizens of the time and showcase the evolution of housing styles during that time frame.
In fact, the evolution of homes in the area changed from this style to the ranch style home in the early 1950‘s and 1960’s.
These middle-class homes were made for people that were willing to live further away from the jobs and could be called the genesis of the suburbs.
However, the actual neighborhoods still had the wide broad streets, as well as the narrow but deep lots of the more expensive homes.
The Alabama A & M Historic District
The final list of Huntsville Historic Districts demonstrates that not all historical areas have to be residential.
Registered on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, this University has not also been known by Alabama A & M.
Its original name was the Colored Normal School at Huntsville, which was charted in the year 1873.
It served one primary purpose: a teacher training school for African Americans.
In the early 1890’s, the name was changed to the State Agricultural and Mechanical School for African Americans.
In the year 1932, it became a Junior College, and in 1939, it officially became a four-year college.
In the year 1949 the name was changed again to its current name of Alabama A & M, and 20 years later, in 1969, it gained University status.
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