In 1870, the East Alabama Female College burned to the ground and closed shortly after. The property was sold to the son of the county’s oldest and most successful merchant. He built this highly ornamental home on the site of the former college as a gift for his new bride.
In 2018, the out-of-state owner contacted a local college and wanted to know whether architecture students could develop a proposal for what to do with the aging home. While the owner never attended the college, his mother, brother, and nephew are all alumni. With faculty oversight, the students wanted to draw up plans to turn the home into a bed and breakfast or wedding venue. After students submitted proposals to the owner, he awarded the top three students a scholarship. He also told faculty he had funding to renovate the house and use it as a lab for learning about historic preservation and restoration. In what was planned as a two-year project, students would observe and assist contractors as they renovate the house. Due to liability concerns, students cannot work as laborers, but they are responsible for the architectural drawings and conducting historic research.