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“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)
 

Social and Cultural Opportunities

Restoring the Vision...Preserving The Legacy

 
 
Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
1. Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker
Inscription. "It is intended that the city shall be not only a first class business and manufacturing place but at the same time it shall be a delightful place for the home and family."
-Promotional brochure from the Decatur Land Improvement and Furnace Company

While the Industrial Revolution transformed the country, the vision of "Home Sweet Home" was increasingly important. In addition to economic advantages, the town's planners made sure that cultural, social, recreational, educational, and religious opportunities were available for the town's new residents. The downtown was central to city life, and the 1880's boom resulted in a rich architectural legacy. Homes, businesses, and churches showcased the changing styles and technological advances of the times. Town promoters of the early 1900's boasted that "with miles and miles of cement and brick sidewalks and paved streets, churches, schools,YMCA, public library, electric lights, gas, pure filtered water, streetcars, theaters, parks, boating, etc., THE DECATURS are truly an ideal place to live."
 
Location. 34° 35.863′ N, 86° 58.648′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street and Prospect Drive, on the right when traveling north on 8th Street.
Princess Theater "today" image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 8, 2009
2. Princess Theater "today"
Touch 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. Health and Civic Welfare (a few steps from this marker); Carolyn Cortner Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Recreation and Refreshment (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and Hope (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Albany (about 800 feet away); St. John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); War in Vietnam (approx. 0.8 miles away); World War One (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
 
Also see . . .  Delano Park Trail of History. (Submitted on August 11, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentSettlements & Settlers
 
Old State Bank "today" image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 8, 2009
3. Old State Bank "today"
Street Car Tracks image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 8, 2009
4. Street Car Tracks
"What is left of the street car tracks in Historic downtown Decatur"
St. Johns Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, June 12, 2010
5. St. Johns Episcopal Church
Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
6. Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker
The Tavern, built in 1888 at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street, was an impressive host for area visitors. The Decatur Land Improvement and Furnace Company built this as one of its first buildings to entice development of the city. The hotel cost $140,000 and accommodated 125 guests. It featured fine cuisine, French plate mirrors, and frescoes by Tiffany of New York. The Tavern burned to the ground in 1923.
Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
7. Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker
Cultural amenities such as theaters were a necessary component of the town's growth. The Princess Theater originated as a livery stable for the Casa Grande Hotel in 1887. The stable was converted into a vaudeville theater in 1919. After a facelift in 1941, the Princess Theater emerged with the Art Deco style and serves today as a center for the performing arts.
Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
8. Social and Cultural Opportunities Marker
(top) The Cotaco Opera House Company was incorporated September 16, 1889 to build one of the first opera houses in the state of Alabama. Shown here later as the Payne Theatre, it still stands on Johnston Street. (bottom) In 1904, as a means of attracting and keeping workers happy, the L&N built a YMCA on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Gordon Drive at an estimated cost of $24,000.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 18, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 449 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on March 18, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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