Target: Walter Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Goal: Don’t allow historic Searcy House to be demolished
The world has had enough beautiful old buildings destroyed in the name of moving forward. One such house in historic Tuscaloosa, Alabama is currently in danger of being destroyed. Built in 1904, the Searcy house was the home of wealthy businessman George Searcy. It is set to be auctioned off to the highest bidder on July 17.
The house is designed in the neoclassical revival style and remains in fairly good shape, featuring a cylindrical spiral staircase. The Searcy House is the last old mansion standing on Greenboro Avenue. Tuscaloosa County acquired the Searcy House in 1986, and it’s been vacant since then.
The Searcy House is on the Alabama Historic Commission’s 2013 “Places in Peril” list. The Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society states that the Searcy House is not beyond repair and is an important mark of history. But the house would cost a lot of money to make livable. The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education is asking $600,000 for the home, not including restoration costs.
The City of Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa Preservation Society, and the University of Alabama have not expressed an interest in preserving the house. But we believe that the city shouldn’t allow it to be demolished. Urge the Walter Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, to not auction off the Searcy House until a buyer expresses an interest in restoring it.
Dear Mr. Maddox,
We’re disappointed to learn that Tuscaloosa’s Searcy House is scheduled to be auctioned off on July 17. We’re worried about that because it’s likely to be torn down to build something else. The Searcy House is the last old mansion on Greenboro Avenue and a standing testament to Tuscaloosa’s history.
The Alabama Historic Commission has listed the Searcy House as a prominent 2013 “Place in Peril,” and the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society has stated that the house would be livable if restored. However, these organizations don’t have the funds to do that work themselves. But the Searcy house could be left standing until a private investor comes along who is interested in buying the house and maintaining its status as a historic landmark.
The Searcy House even remained standing during the 2011 tornado that ravaged Tuscaloosa. Please don’t sell the house until a buyer shows interest in restoring it.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Metro St. Louis via Wikimedia Commons