Alabama's First Capitol Dome - Lowndesboro, Alabama
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 17.004 W 086° 36.436
16S E 536981 N 3571916
Quick Description: The only remnant of the first Capitol of the State of Alabama is a cupola on a church in Lowndesboro, Alabama.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/20/2012 6:31:44 AM
Waymark Code: WME8XP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 1

Long Description:
"The only known strains of Alabama's first capitol building now rest atop St. James Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Lowndesboro Built in early l9th century as a white Methodist Church, the building later sold to a black religious. It closed in 1983. Copper plated, the heavy dome required six teams of oxen and approximately one month to move 45 from Cahawba to Lowndesboro. As the condition of both the dome and church deteriorate, the Alabama Historical Commission has added the building to its list of "Places in Peril." " source: (visit link)

Cahawba (also spelled Cahaba) was Alabama's first state capital from 1820 - 1826. Flooding was a problem, and when a major flood destroyed part of the capitol, the legislature decided to move the capital to Tuscaloosa. At some point in the next few years, the dome from the old building was salvaged and reused. One of the ironies is that after the Civil War, most of the rest of the buildings suffered the same fate. As the town died, those that remained were able to sell used bricks and other material from the many buildings that remained. Another irony is that there are no drawings or photos of the first capital. All we know comes from an architect's drawing based on the original bid information from state archives.

Another source gives information about the dome in Lowndesboro:

"One of the most unexpected landmarks in Alabama actually sits atop the historic C.M.E. Church in Lowndesboro, more than one hour's drive east of its original location.

The noteworthy 1830 church is the home of the original dome from Alabama's first state capitol building. It was moved there after the town of Old Cahawba lost its status as state capital to Tuscaloosa in 1826. The capital was eventually moved to Montgomery and the original building is now an archaeological site. The dome, however, still survives.

In around 1830, a wealthy planter of the Lowndesboro area began a drive to build a beautiful new Methodist-Protestant (now C.M.E.) Church in that town. Major William Robinson envisioned his community as a place of beauty and prosperity and wanted its churches to reflect that status.

With support from other community members, Robinson's dream was realized with the construction of Lowndesboro's beautiful old C.M.E. Church. It is thought to have been completed before 1833.

Atop the structure is a unique octagonal steeple that soars high above the grounds and presents an inspiring sight, especially on blue sunny days. And atop the steeple is the copper-plated dome from Alabama's first state capitol building.

It was brought to Lowndesboro for that purpose during the antebellum era and is the only part of the original capitol building, except perhaps for underground ruins, that still survives." source: (visit link)
Type: Remnant

Fee: No fee.

Can be seen from the street at all hours.

Related URL: [Web Link]

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