Estelle Hall in downtown Montgomery, was the venue for Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ Inauguration reception 151 years ago last month. The building still stands, and photos of it in its present condition can be seen on the “Times Gone By” facebook page. You can get there by googling “Estelle Hall, Montgomery, Alabama”.
Next to Estelle Hall was Concert Hall (61 and 67 Dexter Avenue), and it was probably also used for the inauguration reception. Two years later, during the war, Concert Hall became Concert Hall Hospital. Preservationists are hoping both buildings can be saved. They are under city ownership now and are waiting to be brought back to life.
As I looked at the pictures of Estelle Hall, I couldn’t help but think that Jefferson Davis was actually feted there in that building, with the hopes of the South on his shoulders. Little did they know what lay ahead. I am sure they never dreamed that 630,000 lives would be lost in the bloody conflict that was to follow.