Shown is a Spanish-Mission-style train depot saved and restored by the Bridgeport Area Historical Society. The community of Bridgeport is perhaps the most pristine of the state's late nineteenth-century speculative "boom towns." Ideally situated on the Tennessee River and at the intersection of two railroad lines, Bridgeport seemed a sure bet in the 1880s to several New York and New England capitalists looking for a good investment. Indus tries sprang up overnight--from a stoveworks to a wire nail manufacturer to a basket and package company--until growth came to a sudden halt with the Panic of 1893-94. During the subsequent depression, industries pulled out. T he railroad remained, of course, and continued to bring a measure of prosperity to the town, but its heyday was over. Today, Bridgeport retains its Victorian ambiance, including outstanding examples of late nineteenth-century architecture and a turn-of-the century commercial district.
Old Greene County Courthouse Complex, Eutaw, Greene County, 1840-1869 (Places in Peril 1997)
Three buildings make up the Greene County Courthouse Complex-the Probate Office (1856), the Grand Jury Building (1842), and the old Greene County Courthouse (1869), one of the last Greek Revival buildings constructed in the state of Alabama. The original frame courthouse, constructed in 1840, burned in 1868 and was replaced with the current stucco-covered brick building, which was constructed on the same foundations as its predecessor and basically according to the same plan.
In the Antebellum era, these small one- or two-room structures, mostly of log or frame construction, were a common sight on the Southern landscape. The few surviving dwellings of Alabama's enslaved inhabitants are records of an important, if tragic, part of the state's past and a physical link to the heritage of a large portion of the state's population. These buildings have much to say about the everyday lives of their inhabitants and about the architectural landscape of antebellum Alabama.
Located near Opelika, between Salem and Shotwell , down a little-used dirt road, sits the Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge, also known as the Pea Ridge Covered Bridge. It is one of only thirteen authentic covered bridges remaining in Alabama. A fine example of a type of bridge design known as the Town Lattice Truss (named for its designer, Connecticut architect Ithiel Town), the c. 1900 bridge was constructed of sawmill lumber, crisscrossed like a garden trellis, double-pegged at each intersection, and stiffened at the top and bottom by long horizontal chords. The resulting trusses form, in effect, a ribbon of interlocking triangles capable of supporting tremendous weight without sagging.
Vicksburg and Brunswick Depot, Eufala, Barbour County, 1872 (Places in Peril 1997)
Built in 1872, the graceful Vicksburg and Brunswick Depot, Alabama's finest Reconstruction-era depot is representative of the functional yet attractive depot structures built during the heyday of the American railway industry. With its large and unusual windows--arched on the exterior but square and shuttered on the interior--and twelve-inch-thick walls, the building is both imposing and sturdy. Operated by different rail road companies over the years, the depot changed hands several times and in 1948 was purchased by the Eufaula Hardware Company for use as a warehouse.
Alabama's Endangered Historic Landmarks
Each year since 1994, Alabama Heritage has highlighted threatened historic sites throughout Alabama. The “Places in Peril” list has identified more than 215 imperiled historic resources throughout the state, and is compiled by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. The locations highlight the results of deferred maintenance, perceived obsolescence, development pressures, and lack of funding—forces that now more than ever threaten our cultural legacy. But awareness is a powerful force, too, and can cultivate a renewed determination to be responsible stewards of our heritage. For more information, visit the AHC or the ATHP websites. Alabama Heritage is proud to bring to you a selection of the places designated as perilous. Please keep your comments to information relevant to the featured place in peril. Alabama Heritage reserves the right to delete any comment that we deem inappropriate.