You've heard people say "if these walls could talk, they would have great stories to tell". Many of our state's historic structures do have stories to tell. But they can only tell those stories if they remain standing.
The Places in Peril list is compiled to bring awareness to historic places in Alabama that are at risk for neglect and possibly demolition. The Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation puts this annual list together. They say, without these places, we lose tangible pieces of history.
"Welcome to remington hall. This is the foyer entrance that opens up into the main hallway."
David Schneider is with the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. Remington hall is a historical building at fort McClellan in Anniston.
"Historical places are tangible reminders of our past, and they help define the characters of our communities," said Schneider.
constructed in 1936, Remington Hall served as an officer's club. U.S. Presidents, generals, even dignitaries from around the world entered through these doors. But that's not all.
"Perhaps the most significant feature of the building are the murals in the bar area that were painted by German prisoners of war during World War II," said Schneider.
In fact, Fort McClellan had a fairly large P.O.W. Camp. It housed both German and Italian prisoners.
"These murals are obviously one of the things that makes this place special but it is also one of the things that makes it endangered because they require extensive conservation and climate control. And that's kind of hard to do when that right now does not have an economic use," said Schneider.
It's one reason Remington Hall made this year's Places in Peril list.
In Tuscaloosa, One Wood Manor also is on the list.
"It was designed and built by Don Buel Schuyler, who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright."
Katherine Mauter is Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society. To say she's a fan of One Wood Manor would be an understatement.
"It's gorgeous. If I could move in tomorrow I would," said Mauter.
It was built in 1947. Partly with concrete. A construction that put it ahead of its time.
One brick layer noted the building's house's strength.
"He actually joked in an interview in the 90s that earthquakes wouldn't shake it and tornadoes would bounce right off it," said Mauter.
That may explain why One Wood Manor still stands. In spite of being directly in the path of the April 27th tornado. But Mauter says it may not withstand modern day development.
"With such close proximity to the university, there was a concern that an apartment complex could be put up here, and because the house is also for sale, it could either be purchased by the same developer and knocked down to put another four story building up or something like that," she said.
Perhaps the plaque at One Wood Manor says it best. It reads in part "they who love an old house will never love in vain".
Historic places are essential assets for downtown areas and neighborhoods as well, especially when it comes to Alabama's heritage tourism industry. People will come to your state and spend money just to see places like this.
If you would like a complete list of the 2012 Places in Peril, or want to know how you can help preserve these structures, visit www.alabamatrust.info.
For more information on historic places in Tuscaloosa, visit historictuscaloosa.org.