As the broad outlines of the new industrial city called Birmingham began to fill out and take form, its early leaders responded to calls to create a free school system for the children of the city’s workers. Capt. James R. Powell, Birmingham founder and president of the Elyton Land Company, donated four blocks for the city’s first public school in 1873. The first building used for the school, named Powell School but also known as the “Free School,” was replaced in 1888 with the current structure, which retained the name.
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.