Got a little mixed up on my facts in my last blog about the downtown Montgomery buildings. I inquired about these from Mary Ann Neeley, Montgomery’s premier historian, and she has kindly given me the correct information.
First, the Inaugural Reception was in Estelle & Concert Halls on Dexter Avenue – on the North side, in the first block, almost to the Perry Street corner. This building is for sale by the City and is considered a very important building, because of its history as a place for antebellum public entertainments (built 1850s), as the site for the Inaugural Reception and as a Civil War hospital from 1862-65.
The Montgomery Theatre was what became the Webber’s building on the corner of Perry and Monroe. It is about to be renovated, but not as a theatre; it will house offices and possibly lofts. This is indeed great news!!!
A friend who read the blog about the downtown buildings remembered an old theatre, which was closed and had been partially burned, which he explored as a young boy. Mary Ann says this was “the Grand Theatre” which faced Dexter in the same block as the YMCA stood on Washington. It was built in 1907 and in it were vaudeville shows, and legitimate theatre. Ben Hur was performed there with horses and chariots on the stage. It was torn down in 1956 and the Alabama Power Company stands there today.
I hope everyone is having a blessed Easter. Christ is Risen Indeed!!!