Category Archives: Local Interests

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Change can be a good thing. It often comes as a result of growth and new opportunities. We are excited about recent changes that have taken place at Southern Accents, specifically within our SA Team. We were thrilled to announce several months ago Kolby’s return! Kolby rejoined the SA Team after a six year hiatus. Managing the showroom, Kolby is available Tuesday through Saturday to help you select the perfect architectural salvage pieces for your next project as well as provide custom quotes for doors and table tops. You can stop by the showroom during regular business hours or give him a call at 877-737-0554.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Visit our wood showroom and let Patrick, Mauldin and Stephen assist you with all your salvaged wood needs!

Another notable change has taken place at our Wood Showroom. John, who many of you have dealt with over the past few years, is no longer with us. John left Southern Accents recently to pursue other ventures. Visit our wood showroom and you will find Patrick, Mauldin or Stephen ready and willing to help you with your wood purchases. If you are looking for reclaimed wood for your floors, walls, ceilings, or any special project, we have a HUGE selection you can browse!! And, we are excited to add farmhouse style table tops to our selection of custom made wood products!

If you’ve never visited our wood showroom, it is located just 1 mile down the road from our main showroom at 250 Janeway Drive in Cullman. Our wood showroom is open to the public during regular business hours. Our two warehouses stay stocked with reclaimed lumber, salvaged barn wood, shiplap, tongue and groove bead board, reclaimed hand hewn and circular sawn beams and salvaged trim. Whether your project is large or small, pay us a visit or give us a call and let us help you with your wood needs!


The Conference On The Front Porch

We are thrilled to announce our participation with The Conference On The Front Porch October 18-19 at The Mill at Plein Air in Taylor, Mississippi. This is the second annual Conference On The Front Porch. The conference aims to explore the significance of the front porch in the American South, both from an architectural, as well as a sociological, perspective. The two day conference explores the origins of the front porch, its role in building and sustaining community, the porch and food, the porch and music, and the porch and its impact on the story-telling tradition in the South. All of these topics and more will be explored. In addition to the lectures and panels, registration includes six meals, a one evening porch concert and a one evening porch play.

Southern Accents

The two day conference takes place in a beautiful 12,000 square foot venue built entirely from reclaimed materials and located in the Plein Air neighborhood of Taylor, Mississippi which is a short seven minute drive from Oxford and Ole Miss. Our initial involvement with this conference was through the founder, Campbell McCool. Campbell sourced almost 100% of the salvaged building materials for the venue from Southern Accents. Last year, team member Jason Mauldin was in the area speaking to a class at Ole Miss on the history of architectural elements and represented Southern Accents at the first Conference On The Front Porch. This year SA owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr. will be one of 12 speakers at the highly anticipated event. Garlan will be speaking on the topic of “The Front Porch and Pickin’ Architectural Elements” on Thursday, October 19.

The conference is open to architects, developers, planners, social historians, and lovers of all things porch. Conference schedule, speaker information, as well as ticket purchases can be obtained by visiting theconferenceonthefrontporch.com.

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#SouthernMakersWithHouston – Disaster Relief

On April 27, 2011, downtown Cullman, along with other areas of the state of Alabama, were hit with F4 and F5 tornadoes. Our storefront of Southern Accents, was damaged, having parts of the roof blown off and our front windows blown out. After the initial fear of the tornado had come and gone, people started coming outside to see the extent of the damage. Structures throughout our downtown area were leveled. The immediate need of everyone was overwhelming. The SA gang quickly boarded up our windows and went into the community to help any others that were in need.

For weeks after this horrific event, we were unable to conduct our normal business because we were assisting our neighbors in need. The decision of stopping our business and helping others was an act of compassion that every able body in our community did as we saw the overwhelming need through that disaster. As humans and Americans, that act of compassion of placing our neighbors first, should be what we do when a terrible event of mother nature happens, but making that choice comes with a cost. By making that choice, during the aftermath of the tornado, times were very difficult as we had to spend all of our cashflow in helping others and our business was struggling as we lost several weeks. The stress of our community being destroyed, the stress of not having revenue from our business in weeks, the stress of trying to figure out if we had to permanently shut the doors at SA – our whole existence and our future hinged on friends of SA and friends of Southern Makers helping provide for us through those hard times as we were knocked to our knees. I am writing about this personal crisis in my life today to say two things: THANK YOU for helping support SA and my family through those hard times, but we now have a current situation with a friend / fellow Southern Maker in Houston who needs our help. WE NEED YOU!!!

Many in the Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, are dealing with the disastrous aftermath of hurricane Harvey including our good friend and fellow maker, Travis Weaver of Manready Mercantile. I called Tuesday morning to check on our friend. We were thankful to hear that Travis’s shop escaped the flood. Unfortunately, many of his surrounding neighbors did not. Luckily, Travis has a shop equipped with showers and has running water still so he has turned his store into a first responders station and a point for area drop-off donations of supplies for his community. Unlike the tornado we had in Alabama in 2011 – Houston’s nightmare flooding will continue to see the devastation for weeks as the waters subside. From what Travis has shared with me, an immediate need for folks in this area is toiletries and small hygiene necessities that most of us take for granted. Many of the stores in the area are flooded. The ones who have been able to remain open have had their inventory depleted. Any remaining supplies are being rationed until more can arrive. While Travis would never ask us for help, knowing from first hand experience, the toll mother nature takes on a small business makes it unable to operate under normal circumstances. The only thing you should worry about is helping others, and hopefully the business will survive later. As I was on the phone with Travis, I felt his stress and I remembered the feeling of wanting to help my community, but saw all of my savings being depleted to support my SA family – knowing the day was coming where I would not be able to pay my workers and my debt. That feeling of hopelessness is something that a small business owner should never feel – especially when they are placing the needs of others first in a time of crisis. Without all of you coming to purchase items and allowing us to get them to you when we were able – SA could not have made it.

The Southern Makers Family and Southern Accents Family want YOU to unite with us to help our friend. Therefore, we are reaching out to everyone that loves SA and our fellow Southern Makers family to provide information on two paths of action you can do to help Houston and/or Travis.

  1. An immediate need for many in this area is toiletries. Travis is accepting donations of needed items at his brick and mortar store which is the local drop off. Travis will be transporting donated items in his company van to various areas for distribution. A detailed list of needed items is listed to your right. Please box all donated items and mark the boxes with #SouthernMakersWithHouston.
  2. You can support Travis’s business, during this time of need, by shopping with him online. When checking out, in the special instructions box, type in #SouthernMakersWithHouston. This code will let Travis know that your purchase is your way of helping out a brother in need and that you are in NO hurry for your order to be filled and shipped. Once things settle down and Travis can reopen his business, he will be able to fill and ship all orders. This request is NOT coming from Travis. This is an idea that friends of Southern Makers came up with as a way to help keep his business continue to stay focused on his community. Whether your purchase is large or small, please take action and help our fellow maker. Without your support in 2011, Southern Accents would not be here today. So, please visit him online at Manready Mercantile.
  3. Finally, and this one should be at the top of our list, pray. The worst is yet to come for all in the affected areas. Please join us as we lift our brothers and sisters up in prayer.

Please help spread the word by sending this email to friends as well as sharing this on your social media accounts.

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Current view of Travis’s store.

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Supplies for Harvey victims are being dropped off at Manready Mercantile! The most needed items are:

pet supplies
feminine hygiene products
blankets
pillows
toothbrushes
toothpaste
mouthwash
soap
shampoo
Tylenol
insulin
first aid supplies
diapers
shoes
phone chargers
and any other small items and toiletries that fill basic needs.

If there’s anything else along these lines, we’re sure they’ll take them. Keep the supplies coming and they will be dropped off! God bless Texas!

The address for the drop off point for supplies is

Manready Mercantile
321 W 19th Street
Houston Heights, Texas 77008.

They do ask that you do not bring or send any clothing at this time.

We will be passing along updates from Travis as we receive them. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone who may be looking for a way to help.Updates will be posted on Southern Makers Instagram page @southernmakers.

Travis Pictured below:

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#SouthernMakers 2017 Revisited

Southern Makers 2017 found us in a new city, a new venue, and a few new additions to our celebration! Despite storms earlier in the week and high temperatures, the weather held out for us all weekend and the viaduct at Sloss Furnaces was the perfect retreat from the mid day heat.

The festivities got underway Friday night at Pepper Place Market with a one-of-a-kind dining experience featuring the culinary delights of 5 southern chefs and special guests Natalie Chanin and Mike Wolfe. The food and drinks were delicious and the company divine! The dinner was a perfect introduction to the weekend festivities at Sloss.

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Attendees lined up early outside the 19 feet tall x 32 inch wide custom made, salvaged wood entrance. The gates opened at noon and the crowd poured in, ready to enjoy the offerings of around 100 makers. Event goers were able to sample goods, participate in demonstrations, and interact with some of the most talented artists and makers from throughout the state of Alabama. Maker booths and tents were lined up both sides the length of the viaduct. One end of the viaduct supported one of this year’s new features, a craft beer garden, while the other end was home to live musical performances as bands took to the makeshift stage to entertain the crowd.

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Another new feature this year was the addition of graffiti artist Moses Pressnell. Moses painted the side of this trailer Saturday and Sunday during Southern Makers. This beautiful work of art is titled “Fly First”. You can follow Moses and see more of his incredible art on Facebook at facebook.com/mosespressnellart.

The other new addition was the Urban Arts Dance Competition and Demonstration sponsored by Alabama Dance Nation. Watching the highly talented dancers battle it out for the big prize was highly entertaining! And… we can’t forget about the concert Saturday night at Avondale Brewery by Single Lock recording artists including John Paul White and Mia Dyson.

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Coming through a jam packed weekend, we have to take this opportunity to say a heart felt THANK YOU!! There is no way we can name everyone by name without leaving someone out, as it took a countless number of people to pull off an event of this magnitude. Every single person who played a part in this event, large or small, was needed and appreciated. Our thanks goes out to all of the Makers, Sponsors, those who have worked tirelessly over the past year to help plan every aspect of this event, the Southern Makers and Southern Accents Team, our venues; Sloss Furnaces, Pepper Place Market and Avondale Brewery, the Volunteers, the Chefs, Brewers, the Security and those involved from the City of Birmingham who helped make this happen, and of course our media sponsor Garden & Gun Magazine. Most importantly, we want to thank the attendees! Without you, all the effort would be in vain. We realize your time is precious and we appreciate you choosing to spend some of it with us!

We’ll be posting photos on our social media accounts in the coming days so keep watch! We also want to see YOUR photos! Please post your photos from this past weekend and tag us with #southernmakers2017 or @southernmakers.

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The demonstrations throughout the weekend were a huge success! Casting artists from Sloss Furnaces, pizza making with Bill St. John and broom making with George Jones were but a few of the crowd pleasing demonstrations!

The VIP lounge was hopping all weekend as VIP ticket holders were treated to culinary delights and refreshing drinks in the decked out air conditioned tent!

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The Pine Hill Haints returned this year, along with other musical guests, to entertain the crowds.

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The Beer Garden was a popular new feature as craft beers from over a dozen Alabama brewers were offered throughout the weekend.

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Happy faces from makers and guests alike were common under the Sloss Furnaces viaduct! We hope to see you all again next year!!


Urban Arts Dance Competition at Southern Makers!

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Southern Makers line up this year! There will be an Urban Arts Dance Competition on Saturday, August 12, followed by an Urban Arts Dance demonstration and presentation on Sunday, August 13 at the Historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. These fantastic displays of art in the form of dance are included as part of your Southern Makers ticket price!!

Urban Arts Dance Competition at Southern Makers 2017

Take It To The Streets is a 5 Year Running Urban Arts Open Styles Tournament Dance Competition where dancers from Alabama Dance Nation invite other artists from across the country to come to the Magic City and battle for the loot, $300 Cash to be exact, and the crown! This Tournament will be part of Southern Makers 5th Annual Event on Saturday, August 12. With over 35 accomplished street dancers coming from six different states across the South to compete for the prize, this battle is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Judges for Saturday’s competition will be Ladia Yates, Benji Porter and Michael ‘Kaotic’ Phillips. Music provided by DJ New Era, MC for this event is Jag War.

Sunday, August 13, experience Urban Arts in Motion at it’s finest! Alabama Dance Nation will bring to Southern Makers the best of the best as they explore the Past, Present and the Future of Street Dance. Special Guest Appearances Sunday by Dance Legends: Boogaloo Shrimp aka Turbo (The Movie Breakin), Honey Rockwell (Legendary B-Girl), Kid Dynamo (Legendary Locker) and Orko Romero (Zulu Nation). We are also excited to announce that a presentation of the First Annual Christopher Herndon Exceptional Artist Award will be made to a deserving member of Alabama Dance Nation who has been a consistently, positive force in the street dance community, in addition to being a phenomenal artist.

What an honor it is to have such a prestigious line up and display of dance as part of #southernmakers2017. Join us at Historic Sloss Furnaces August 12 & 13. TICKETS ARE ON SALE AT: SOUTHERNMAKERS.COM


Southern Makers – 5 Star Dinner with Mike Wolfe & Natalie Chanin

Southern Makers 5 Star Dinner
29th Street at Pepper Place, Birmingham, AL
August 11, 2017

Cocktails: 5:30-7:00
Dinner: 7:00 until

Tickets are now available for this one-of-a-kind dining experience to benefit Southern Makers nonprofit. With special guests Natalie Chanin and Mike Wolfe.

Special dinner guest, Natalie “Alabama” Chanin, is the founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin. She was born and raised in Florence, Alabama, where her company, which creates beautiful hand stitched clothing, is based. Natalie has traveled the globe working as a stylist, costume and fashion designer. In 2013 she won the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge, an award competition that identifies and celebrates the greatest American designers working in the realm of sustainable fashion. Natalie’s fashions focuses on sustainability at every stage of the manufacturing process – from materials and processes, to cultural sustainability in the form of preserving hand sewing skills. Over the years, Alabama Chanin has expanded to include The Alabama Chanin collection, The School of Making, The Factory Store + Cafe, and Building 14 Design + Manufacturing Services.

Mike Wolfe at Southern Makers 2017

Our other special guest for the evening is Mike Wolfe. Mike is the creator and star of History Channel’s American Pickers! While we have all come to know Mike on television as a picker, Mike is so much more than a finder and rescuer of old objects. Mike is an American history buff who’s passion lies in discovering and preserving the stories of the treasures that he uncovers. In addition to American Pickers, Mike is the creator and executive producer of Nashville Flipped, has is own line of American made products and apparel, Two Lanes, and is an avid motorcycle collector and enthusiast!

This very special evening will start at 5:30 PM in the cocktail lounge with libations and a Southern Makers anniversary craft cocktail created by Chris Hastings. Guests will enjoy a five course dinner prepared by a variety of top southern based chefs including: Adam Evans, formerly of Optimist, Atlanta, GA,  James Lewis Bettola, Birmingham AL,  Alex Harrell, Angeline, New Orleans, LA, David Carrier, Certified Burger, Sea Island GA, and Josh Quick, Odette, Florence, AL. Miami’s own, five-star sommelier Heath Porter will pair wine with courses. Each chef will prepare a special plate to add to this one-of-a-kind culinary experience. The atmosphere and surroundings will complement the dinner with an urban farm-to-table feel and theme. Table flourishes include place settings from McQueen Pottery, cotton napkins by Alabama Chanin, flowers by Stone Hollow Farmstead and more. 29th Street to the historic Pepper Place will be transformed for one night only into a joyful dining room under the stars of Alabama. Dress attire for this event is business casual. A very limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased by visiting southernmakers.com.


Southern Makers Countdown

We’re a little over 2 weeks out and counting!!! #southernmakers2017 will take place August 12 & 13 at Historic Sloss Furnaces in downtown Birmingham, AL. The list of this year’s Makers has just been released and it is stellar! We are thrilled to welcome back many makers who have been with us from the beginning. We are equally excited about all the new makers who will be joining us for their first SM adventure! You can access a full list of this years Makers by visiting Southern Makers online.

Southern Makers 2017

In addition to all of the high quality goods offered in the Makers booths, this year you will be able to get crafty at Southern Makers Beer Garden. Curated by the Alabama Brewers Guild, sample and enjoy craft brews from over a dozen breweries. Beer tokens will be available at the garden entrance for $2.50 each. A 6-ounce pour will be 1 token. A 12-ounce pour will be 2 tokens. During the event you’ll also be able to enjoy demonstrations and workshops presented by several of our makers, along with a street dance battle curated by Creative Mindz.

Tickets for this year’s event are now available at SouthernMakers.com. Single day and weekend passes are available with all children under the age of 10 admitted for free! If you want to get the best BANG for your buck, consider a VIP ticket! For only $85 you get an all access weekend pass, a parking pass, private, air conditioned restrooms, and access to the air conditioned VIP tent. Inside the tent you will have access to complimentary culinary treats and libations from some of the South’s finest makers! This is definitely the way to go but… there are a very limited number of VIP passes available and they are going fast! VIP tickets as well as single day tickets and weekend tickets can be purchased by visiting Southern Makers. Tickets are on sale through August 13th. Tickets will be available at the gate the day of the event but will cost more so make sure you get them early!!

Southern Makers 2017

**5 Star Farm-to-Table Dinner to Kick Off Southern Makers!**

Southern Makers 5 Star Dinner, 29th Street at Pepper Place, Birmingham, AL
August 11, 2017

Cocktails: 5:30-7:00
Dinner: 7:00 until

A one-of-a-kind dining experience to benefit Southern Makers nonprofit. With special guests Natalie Chanin and Mike Wolfe.

Sponsored by: GMC, Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesMason+DixonPepper PlaceCathead VodkaJohn Emerald Distillery.

Official Media Partner: Garden & Gun

The evening will start at 5:30 PM in the cocktail lounge with libations and a Southern Makers anniversary craft cocktail created by Chris Hastings. Guests will enjoy a five course dinner prepared by a variety of top southern based chefs including: Adam Evans, formerly of Optimist, Atlanta, GA,  James Lewis Bettola, Birmingham AL,  Alex Harrell, Angeline, New Orleans, LA, David Carrier, Certified Burger, Sea Island GA, and Josh Quick, Odette, Florence, AL. Miami’s own, five-star sommelier Heath Porter will pair wine with courses. Each chef will prepare a special plate to add to this one-of-a-kind culinary experience. The atmosphere and surroundings will complement the dinner with an urban farm-to-table feel and theme. Table flourishes include place settings from McQueen Pottery, cotton napkins by Alabama Chanin, flowers by Stone Hollow Farmstead and more. 29th Street to the historic Pepper Place will be transformed for one night only into a joyful dining room under the stars of Alabama. Visit southernmakers.com for more on the weekend schedule, updates added daily.

Presented by:
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Supported by:
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood

Official Media Partner:
Garden and Gun

Southern Makers


The Return of The Three Amigos

Each summer we typically hire a few college guys to help us catch up on some of the grunt work around Southern Accents. Our goal is to work them hard! We want them to put in a summers worth of sweat equity… get them as tired and dirty as we possibly can, and then send them back to school! We believe that everyone should have a “Dirty Job” at least once in their lifetime! Last summer Garrett, Boogie, and Kramer worked with us all summer. Apparently we didn’t work them hard enough because they have returned this year for round two!!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Last summer we nicknamed these guys the “Three Amigos”. In real life, they are the best of friends and have been since childhood. After graduating from Cullman High School, Garrett and Kramer enrolled at the University of Alabama while Boogie opted to head a little further south to Auburn University. We must admit, we all became attached to these three clowns last year and were sad to see summer come to an end, so we are thrilled to have them all back for another round. While all three guys are a lot of fun to be around, they are also hard workers. They’ve done everything from pulling nails and pulling weeds, to sanding beams, loading, unloading, and delivering product. They’ve helped clean, organize and inventory product in our back warehouse as well as help set up for events like the upcoming Southern Makers. When asked what they liked most about working for Southern Accents, they all agreed that they love being able to travel and participate in salvage missions and event setups but the best part of their job was seeing the end result of whatever project they were working on.

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We hope to have the Three Amigos working hard for us in a few weeks at Sloss Furnaces as we set up for Southern Makers. And young ladies… just in case you are wondering, they are ALL available! They’ve dubbed themselves “Bachelors with Bachelors”!


#SOUTHERN MAKERS 2017 – CELEBRATING 5 YEARS ON AUGUST 12+13

We are SUPER EXCITED to announce the dates of our 2017 installment of SOUTHERN MAKERS! The Montgomery tracks lead us North to Birmingham for our next southern adventure.

Southern Makers 2017 at Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, Alabama

Tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual Southern Makers, a two-day event happening August 12-13, 2017, under the viaduct at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. Part of the five-year celebration, is to try a new venue, change things up a bit and keep our event fresh— without losing the quality and spirit at the heart of the event.

Just as our original venue, Montgomery’s historic Union Station, represents movement and architectural beauty, so too does the Viaduct at Sloss but in a different way. The raw space composed of structural concrete material for its own sake, represents movement and a space for the making process. This rings true to our reason for creating Southern Makers back in 2013—bringing together handpicked top talent to explore southern based creativity that enriches lives – in one place for all to experience. We have the same values but we are relocating to a NEW historic environment. The Montgomery tracks are leading us North to Birmingham for a different southern adventure.

Southern Makers 2017 at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama

The viaduct at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama will be the home for Southern Makers 2017 August 12 & 13.

More than 100 of Alabama’s top makers, including nationally-renowned fashion designers, textile artists, screen printers, jewelers, brewers, winemakers, contemporary artists, farmers, woodworkers, chefs, bakers, architects, industrial designers, preservationists and entrepreneurs, will come together in Birmingham to celebrate Southern creativity and innovation. The complete list of Southern Makers will be posted to southernmakers.com mid-July, 2017.

Make plans now to join us for a day or the weekend! You’ll be able to shop with all of the talented artists and makers, enjoy food and drink from some of Alabama’s finest chefs and brewers, boogie down to live entertainment presented throughout the day on the Southern Makers stage, and sit in on demonstrations from many of our makers. There are a limited number of tickets available so don’t delay! Grab your tickets today and join us for a weekend of fun and creativity at historic Sloss Furnaces!

Southern Makers 2017 at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama

If you’ve never attended Southern Makers, you have missed a real treat! Join us August 12 & 13 at the historic Sloss Furnaces. This year will be bigger and better than ever!!!

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE!!

To purchase tickets, visit the Southern Makers website at southernmakers.com. A single day ticket is $24.99 plus taxes and fees, a weekend ticket is $35.99 plus taxes and fees. Tickets at the door are $35.99 plus taxes and fees per day. Tickets are free for children under 10.

Southern Makers is also selling ALL ACCESS (VIP) weekend passes for $85.00 plus taxes and fees.This is an all weekend ticket that includes entry into the air-conditioned marquee partnering with Garden & Gun Magazine with culinary treats and libations from the South’s finest makers.

The event is produced and created by Southern Accents Architectural Antiques in collaboration with Goodwyn Mills & Cawood (GMC). Garden & Gun is the Southern Makers official media partner. All proceeds from the event benefit Southern Makers, a non-profit organization that aims to draw attention to, celebrate and promote southern talent and creativity.

Visit southernmakers.com and like Southern Makers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernMakers for more information on tickets, event details and the full list of Makers. For information on sponsorship opportunities, please email info@southernmakers.com.


Foster Hall – An Event in Alabama’s History

If you know us at Southern Accents, you know how much we love a good story. When a story comes along that is attached to a piece of architecture and is documented, it’s story is not only validated in written form but helps in preserving a piece of our history. Such is the case with two windows that we recently acquired that has a semi-circular design that once graced the front of Foster Hall Auditorium on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. If you study Alabama History, then you are familiar with the event that took place at the entrance to Foster Auditorium on June 11, 1963. If not, then a short history lesson is in order. On this date, then Governor George C. Wallace, who opposed integration, stood at the entrance of the auditorium in an attempt to block two black students from registering at the University. Governor Wallace was unsuccessful in his attempt and that same day the first two black students enrolled at the University of Alabama. Two years later, one of the students, Vivian Malone, became the first black to receive a degree from UA. Years later, George Wallace apologized for his segregationist views and in October 1996, Vivian Malone Jones was chosen by the George Wallace Family Foundation to be the first recipient of its Lurleen B. Wallace Award of Courage. At the ceremony, Wallace said, “Vivian Malone Jones was at the center of the fight over states’ rights and conducted herself with grace, strength and, above all, courage.” In 2000, the University of Alabama bestowed on Vivian a doctorate of humane letters.

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The large windows, which can be seen in photos dated at the time of this event, were later removed from the building to make way for a window air conditioning unit. The windows were crated and stored in a storage building on campus. Years later, that storage area, which was shared by faculty member George Hodgson, along with some of the University carpenters, was scheduled for demolition and had to be cleaned out. It was during this process that the crated windows (shown above) were removed by one of the carpenters and placed at the dumpster. George inquired about the windows and was given permission to take them. The windows were moved to his home garage where they sat for years.

In 2009, renovation of Foster Auditorium began. At that time, Mr. Hodgson offered the windows back to the University. The University turned down the offer stating that all of the units were being replaced with newer, maintenance free windows. Not wanting the windows to end up back in the dumpster, George continued to keep them crated and stored in his garage until a few weeks ago when he approached Southern Accents and asked if we would be interested in them. George offered a letter of authenticity that stated how the windows came to be in his possession along with a copy of the email exchange from 2009 offering the windows back to the University.

The Foster Auditorium event, albeit an ugly part of our history, is history none the less. One of the most important aspects of accurately recording historical events is so we can learn from past mistakes. Having written documentation on any historical item not only preserves the provenance of that item, but transforms a story into fact. We gladly accepted the windows and will use these historical architectural elements to serve as a reminder of an event that eventually lead, not to block entrances, but to open doors.

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This photo was taken after 1963 but prior to the renovations of 2009. Air conditioning units can be seen where the arch top windows once were.

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Foster Auditorium after the 2009 renovations which included the addition of the Malone-Hood Plaza and Autherine Lucy Clock Tower. The University of Alabama paid tribute to Autherine Lucy Foster, James Hood and the late Vivian Malone Jones, the three African-American students whose enrollment represented UA’s first steps toward desegregation, at the dedication which was held November 3, 2010.

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The Crimson White newspaper from 2009 highlights the planned renovations of Foster Auditorium. In the photo you can see the air conditioner units that replaced the windows.


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