Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Carolyn Cortner Smith

Female Architect Pioneer / Designed Delano Park Structures

 
 
Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker Side A image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
1. Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker Side A
Inscription. (Front):
Born in 1894 in Normandy, Tennessee, Carolyn Cortner was raised in the Courtland area of Lawrence County, Alabama. She attended Ward-Belmont College in Tennessee. She married Wilburn Smith in 1912. She did not attend formal architecture school but studied design textbooks to become Alabama’s first licensed female architect, designing her first home by 1914. Mrs. Smith acquired three area lumber mills and ran them as the Carolyn Lumber Mills. In the 1920’s, the Mars family put her in charge of constructing their Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee. A world traveler, Mrs. Smith died in 1987 at 93, leaving a legacy in the history of design and historic preservation in Alabama.

(Reverse):
Carolyn Cortner Smith was among the first women in Alabama to enter the field of architecture early in the 20th century. During the Depression-era 1930’s, she designed buildings for the federal government as part of the Civil Works Administration and Works Progress Administration. She directed the WPA restoration of the Old State Bank and designed the National Guard Armory and several phases of Delano Park, including the Rose Garden, bathhouse, and bandstand. During her distinguished career, Mrs. Smith designed more than 700 homes and churches. She built a number of homes in the Decatur area and was influential
Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker Side B image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
2. Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker Side B
in creating the Tudor-style of architecture that is predominant in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook.
 
Erected by State of Alabama.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects marker series.
 
Location. 34° 35.891′ N, 86° 58.663′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Gordon Drive Southeast and 8th Avenue Southeast, on the right when traveling east on Gordon Drive Southeast. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Social and Cultural Opportunities (within shouting distance of this marker); Health and Civic Welfare (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and Hope (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Recreation and Refreshment (about 400 feet away); Albany (about 600 feet away); St. John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); War in Vietnam (approx. ¾ mile away); World War One (approx. ¾ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Decatur.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
3. Carolyn Cortner Smith Marker
Carolyn Cortner Smith image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
4. Carolyn Cortner Smith
The Rose Garden at Delano Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
5. The Rose Garden at Delano Park
The Rose Garden Wall at Delano Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
6. The Rose Garden Wall at Delano Park
The Bathhouse at Delano Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
7. The Bathhouse at Delano Park
The Old State Bank in Decatur, Alabama image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr
8. The Old State Bank in Decatur, Alabama
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,272 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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