This year we get to celebrate Alabama’s 200th Birthday! This gives us a chance as a State and as a City to look back and reflect over the past years, but this celebration also gives us the opportunity to look forward at where we are going and what is to come.
Huntsville is unlike any other city in the Southeast. We have a mountain that overlooks Downtown, engineers that make history, a variety of unique artists, incredible craft beer and rich history.
Downtown Huntsville has evolved and changed over the past years and is continuing to do so in front of our eyes. Our Downtown Historic Districts are filled with a variety homes and streets that make Downtown Huntsville unique and inviting. Our friends at the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center have outlined a brochure that explains the history behind the Heart of Huntsville and our unique streets.
One of the most well-known areas of Downtown Huntsville is Twickenham, but where does the name come from? Twickenham was Huntsville's original name until 1811, which then made Huntsville the very first incorporated town in what we know now as Alabama!
Overall, many of the Historic streets in Downtown Huntsville have remained unchanged for over 200 years, with only a few updates made.
You may be familiar with Gallatin St and Henry St. Gallatin St still exist now and was a part of the original rectangle you see in the brochure. This street was named after Albert Gallatin who immigrated to the US from Switzerland and had a successful career in politics. Henry St existed in the original rectangle and was uniquely named after Patrick Henry who was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is remembered for his famous last words, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Gallatin St and Henry St meet in the original rectangle but have since been renamed to what we know now as Church St.
In the heart of Downtown, you will find that Spring St and Fountain Row no longer go all the way to Church St. Fountain Row now turns into Williams Avenue and has been renamed to Fountain Circle which will bring you to the Downtown Square.
Something that has been added and not changed is that Spring St stops at Spragins St.
One of the most interesting facts from the brochure we found was previous streets that ran East to West are now named Avenues instead of Streets like Clinton Avenue, Holmes Avenue and so on.
This year as we celebrate the Alabama Bicentennial, we hope you will visit the Historic Streets of Downtown Huntsville and explore the History that is here in the heart of our city. Grab a pace bike, join in on a We Run Downtown Huntsville pub run, or simply walk the streets yourself! Happy Birthday Alabama!