Vestavia Hills in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
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.
In 1973, the Alabama Department of Transportation granted permission to place the temple in the roadside park on Montgomery Highway. The arduous move began.
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Landmarks.
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 Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35216, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vestavia Hills.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,504 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.