Huntsville kicks off Historic Preservation Month downtown

May has been designated as Historic Preservation Month, and the city will focus its campaign on downtown Huntsville. (Michael Seale / Hville Blast)

Downtown Huntsville has some of the state’s oldest structures still in use, and a stroll through the downtown commercial area is like taking a trip back in time.

Which is why Historic Preservation Month in May will be a month-long campaign showcasing the beautiful downtown Huntsville area. Mayor Tommy Battle kicked off the campaign Friday morning.

A Brief History of Historic Preservation Month

Huntsville is participating in the national recognition of Historic Preservation Month. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Historic Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. In 2005, the National Trust extended the celebration to the entire month of May and declared it Preservation Month to provide an even greater opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of the country’s cities and states.

A Joint Congressional Resolution was introduced on February 15, 1973, by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee to designate the week of May 6-12, 1973, as National Preservation Week. President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law on May 5, 1973.

Mayors and governors throughout the country have since added their proclamations to President Nixon’s, and the campaign extended since then to a month-long celebration.

Why downtown Huntsville?

Some of the buildings in downtown Huntsville are more than 150 years old. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

As mentioned, the month-long campaign will focus on Huntsville’s downtown commercial district and how it has evolved through the years. City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps, District 4 Council Member Bill Kling and Manager of Urban & Long-Range Planning Dennis Madsen joined Battle on the 8th floor of the 106 Jefferson Hotel to kick off the celebration Friday.

Downtown Huntsville is a perfect place to celebrate the long and unique history of the city, as many of the buildings downtown are more than 150 years old.

The month will include the city showcasing different buildings and the history behind them, where officials will discuss the I. Schiffman Building, Clinton Row and former Yarborough Hotel. Other locations will also be featured throughout the month.

Free guided walking tours of downtown Huntsville will be offered Saturday, May 14, at 1PM and Friday, May 20, at 6PM. Led by Stamps, tours will depart from the historic First National Bank Building on West Side Square.

Look for these features on social media as part of the #SavingPlacesHsv campaign.

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Michael Seale
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