Lottery Winnings and Museum Renovations

The Houston Memorial Library is located in Athens, Alabama.  The house was owned by George Houston, a former governor of the state of Alabama.  George Houston died in 1879,  and the Houston family donated the property to the city of Athens, with the stipulation that it be used as a library/museum.

However, over the years the building deteriorated and the city failed to complete the required maintenance to keep the facility functional.  In 2016, the city indefinitely closed the museum for renovations.

It breaks my heart to see this building in such a deplorable state.  All those historical documents, old books, and antiques are locked inside the building.  The building is full of items with educational and cultural value, but it’s all just rotting away.

If I won the lottery, I would buy that building and have it fully restored.  I would open it back up for the public to use and have activities for children, so they can learn to appreciate the value of museums and libraries.

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Weeden House Museum – Huntsville, Alabama

I throughly enjoyed my visit to the Weeden House Museum.  There are a lot of interesting things to see and the tour guide did a fabulous job.

The Weeden House was built in 1819, by H.C. Bradford.  The intricate woodwork and the federal architectural style is stunning.  The Weeden family owned the home from 1845 to 1956.

Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905) lived in this house her entire life.  She was a poet and an artist.  Maira was particularly interested in the lives of the black people she encountered on a regular basis.  She was bothered by the way they were treated and wanted to give them a voice in the world.

Maria Howard Weeden painted realistic portraits of the black people, instead of the cartoonish images that were popular during the Reconstruction period.

Maria also spent hours talking to the black people she painted, so she could learn their life stories.

Maria used poetry to expose the horrible circumstances of their lives.  The rhythm and cadence reflected the positive personalities of the people, in spite of their lifelong suffering.

Maria Howard Weeden was truly a woman ahead of her time.

House of Ill Repute Becomes a Hospital

Huntsville Hospital is located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, and it has a very interesting history.

The city started out with a small infirmary, but the building was inadequate.  Huntsville Hospital moved to its current location in 1904.  Mollie Teal donated the building and land to the city.  Prior to the donation, she used the property to run a prostitution business.

From house of ill repute to city hospital, I think that’s an interesting story.

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Carnegie Visual Arts Center

Yesterday, Gwen and I went to Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Alabama.

My favorite exhibit was “Safe” by Sarah Carlisle Towery.  The colors in the painting are striking.  You can see the deep emotions felt by the subject of the painting.  I think it’s an excellent piece of art, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to view it.

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