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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vestavia Hills in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Sibyl Temple

 
 
Sibyl Temple Marker (Side A) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
1. Sibyl Temple Marker (Side A)
Inscription.
Side A
Sibyl Temple was moved to this site from its original location in 1975. George Ward built it on the brow of his 20-acre mountaintop “Vestavia” estate in 1929. It marked the entrance to the lower 10 acres where he planned a wildflower and bird sanctuary. Mr. Ward modeled his “Temple of the Sibyl” gazebo after the hilltop temple in Tivoli, Italy. It was constructed of red-hued sandstone quarried in the area. He intended Sibyl Temple to be the monument to his resting place, desiring to be buried in the cave beneath; but, in 1940 when Mr. Ward died, he was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. In 1947, Charles Byrd bought Vestavia estate, after which he painted Sibyl Temple white. In 1958, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church purchased the property from Mr. Byrd. Later When the church built a new sanctuary, the gazebo was incompatible with the architecture. The Church gave Sibyl Temple to Vestavia Hills Garden Club on November 15, 1972.

Side B
In 1973, the Alabama Department of Transportation granted permission to place the temple in the roadside park on Montgomery Highway. The arduous move began. Disassembling and relocating the gazebo was a monumental achievement masterminded by Bill Harbert working with resources and personnel of Harbert Construction Corporation. The eight solid concrete
Sibyl Temple Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
2. Sibyl Temple Marker (Side B)
columns with steel rods embedded in foundation and dome were singularly removed from the overall 88-ton structure and remade to exact measurements. the 63-ton dome proved too heavy to be lifted onto the columns repositioned on this site, necessitating their removal, building a structure of H beams, placing the one on top and then setting each column in place again. On April 8, 1975, the Garden Club held a dedication ceremony. Many professionals, businesses and friends assisted with landscaping and beautification.
In 1985, Sibyl Temple was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, Sibyl Temple Foundation, an incorporated entity of Vestavia Hills Garden Club, and the City of Vestavia Hill maintain the Temple and gardens.
 
Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Vestavia Hills.
 
Location. 33° 27.332′ N, 86° 47.219′ W. Marker is in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Montgomery Highway (U.S. 31) and Shades Crest Road, on the right when traveling south on Montgomery Highway. Click for map. Marker is located in the Sibyl Temple Park. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35216, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies
Enter Here Off 31 To The Sibyl Temple Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
3. Enter Here Off 31 To The Sibyl Temple Park
. A History Of Vestavia Hills (within shouting distance of this marker); Samford University (approx. half a mile away); Edgewood Lake (Drained 1940's) Birmingham Motor & Country Club / Edgewood Country Club (approx. 0.6 miles away); Vestavia Hills Baptist Church / George Ward 1867-1940 (approx. one mile away); Hallman Hill (approx. 1.6 miles away); Hollywood / Hollywood Town Hall / Hollywood Country Club (approx. 1.7 miles away); “We Love Homewood” (approx. 1.7 miles away); Homewood (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Vestavia Hills.
 
Categories. Landmarks
 
Sibyl Temple Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
4. Sibyl Temple Marker
Sibyl Temple image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
5. Sibyl Temple
One of Sibyl Temple's Columns image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
6. One of Sibyl Temple's Columns
The View From Sibyl Temple image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
7. The View From Sibyl Temple
This Was The Original Site Where The Sibyl Temple Stood image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
8. This Was The Original Site Where The Sibyl Temple Stood
Sibyl Temple's Original Foundations and Steps Down To The Crypt Site image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
9. Sibyl Temple's Original Foundations and Steps Down To The Crypt Site
Steps Below The Original Site Of The Sibyl Temple. image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
10. Steps Below The Original Site Of The Sibyl Temple.
The View From The Original Site Of The Sibyl Temple image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
11. The View From The Original Site Of The Sibyl Temple
Vestavia Hills Baptist Church now calls the site the Prayer Point.
George Ward's Former “Vestavia” Estate, Now The Vestavia Hills Baptist Church Occupies The Site image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 8, 2010
12. George Ward's Former “Vestavia” Estate, Now The Vestavia Hills Baptist Church Occupies The Site
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,376 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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