George Searcy House, 714 Greensboro Avenue

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Title

George Searcy House, 714 Greensboro Avenue

Subject

School boards
County school systems
Houses and homes

Description

The two-story Searcy House was built in 1904 by George Searcy, a Tuscaloosa banker and businessman. It was sold to Tuscaloosa County in 1925 for $35,000. The building was used for both a public library and the administrative offices of the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education. In 1958 the Library moved to the Jemison Mansion through the generosity of Victor Hugo Friedman.

In 1968 the Board of Education renovated it for more functional office use. At that time, a cylindrical spiral staircase, constructed in 1840 and salvaged from the E.N.C. Snow House which once sat on the site of the present Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, was moved to the Searcy House.

The house was an excellent example of the Neo-revival style of architecture popular at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1904, Tuscaloosa was once again becoming more socially and financially active and the Searcy House was one of the first large houses built in the area since the 1870's.

The house was approximately square with a wide veranda on front and four fluted Ionic columns. The entrance had an arched transom and lights on each side of the door. The details of the woodwork, dentils, rails and supports of the balcony added distinction to the Greek Revival style of the house.

In 2012, the Board of Education acquired the Federal Courthouse Building on Greensboro Avenue after a new Federal Courthouse was built on University Boulevard. The Board of Education sold the Searcy House to Frederick Hahn Sr., the lone bidder, for its appraised value of $600,000. Hahn donated the house to the adjoining First Baptist Church.

Attempts by the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society to save the Searcy House, which was on the "Places in Peril" list of the Alabama Historical Commission, were unsuccessful.

An estate sale to sell of parts of the house was held. Mantels, windows, pocket doors, moldings and other period parts of the house were sold. The spiral staircase was salvaged for use in another historic home or stored for safekeeping. Any remaining items of value were removed to a location for a later sale before the house was demolished in 2014.

Source

Tuscaloosa News Archive

Contributor

Betty Slowe (Description)

Type

Photograph

Identifier

280

Coverage

Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format

Photograph

Physical Dimensions

9 x 6 inches