Montgomery's Greyhound Bus Terminal is one of those ordinary buildings that has been "rendered extraordinary" by the events that occurred within it. On May 20, 1961, twenty-one young Freedom Riders, hoping to end discrimination in the interstate transportation system, pulled into the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Montgomery and were met by an angry mob. The riot that ensued prodded the Kennedy Administration along the road to civil rights reform and signaled the country that there was no turning back for either side (both for segregationists and civil rights advocates) on the issue of civil rights.
Long-range plans for the expansion of the federal government complex immediately to the north of the bus station call for demolition of this structure. Surely a way can be found for adaptive incorporation of the bus station, or at least the core of it, into the overall design of the federal complex, with the present waiting room perhaps being given over to a permanent photographic and artifact exhibit on the civil rights movement in Montgomery and the Deep South.
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.