Friday, July 07, 2006

Arlington School - Take 3

Keep your fingers crossed. Arlington School (1908) may be saved!
The community group B3 (Bring Bessemer Back) has submitted a $1.8 million plan to the Bessemer Board of Education. The group hopes to rehab the building as office space for non-profit groups and restore the theater for community use. Read the full Birmingham News article.
Arlington School was included in The Alabama Historical Commission's 2003 list of "Places in Peril." The following description comes from "Places in Peril" coverage in the Fall 2003 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine:
"A fine example of classical revival school building from the turn of the last century, the Arlington School, built in 1908, was Bessemer's first high school. Its most distinguishing features are the decorative brick and stone facade, interior sky-lighted basketball courts, and an auditorium in the form of a jewel box theatre with a raked floor, proscenium stage, and horseshoe balcony. Once a part of a thriving middle class neighborhood, the Arlington School was abandoned in the early 1980s. Now dilapidated and out of use, the school's state of disrepair is indicative of the decline in the surrounding neighborhood..."

Thankfully, the South Highlands neighborhood is turning around. Revitalizing the school building is essential to our continued success.


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