Welcome to the historic heart of Huntsville Alabama, the the Twickenham Historic District. This gorgeous neighborhood provides a fabulous walking path through the history of Alabama through the style and architecture of the homes. Visitors to the historic district can see examples of Gothic revival, Queen Anne, Greek Revival, Italianate, Federal period, Bungalow, and Craftsman-style houses.
Many of the historic homes you’ll see in the Twickenham Historic District were built prior to the Civil War. In order to find those homes, it’s best to have a good Twickenham district map or head out with a knowledgeable tour guide.
Huntsville Has The Most Pre-Civil War Homes In The State Of Alabama
Huntsville has proudly maintained over 65 pre-Civil War homes, and many of them are located in the Twickenham historic district. Some of the most popular places to look for include:
Weeden House 1819 – Open for tours twice a day
Leroy Pope Mansion 1814
Thomas Bibb House 1836
The Public Inn 1818
Walker-Lowe House 1834
Moore-Rhett House 1826
Grove-Basset House 1818
McClung House 1838
Most of these are private homes and not open to the general public. The best way to step inside some of the pre-Civil War homes is with a local tour guide who is familiar with the area and has the right connections. A guide can also share stories about the local area and answer any questions you may have.
Spirit Of Christmas Past Home Tour
If your visit to Huntsville is in December, then you might be able to take advantage of a rare opportunity. Select homes in the Twickenham Historic District open their doors for one day in December for the annual Spirit of Christmas Past Home Tour.
Visitors get the chance to take a peek inside some of the Twickenham historic homes and admire the architectural styles with an insider perspective. This special tour happens for just one day a year in December.
Bite Into The Local Food Scene
There are many restaurants within walking distance of the Twickenham historic district. When you are ready to enjoy a great meal after a day of exploring historic places and grand homes, we can recommend a few places to tuck into.
Try Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint for a casual meal with great food. Jack Brown’s also serves an impressive list of craft beers. Mazzara’s Vinoteca is an authentic Italian restaurant in a historic home built in the Colonial Revival architectural style in 1848. La Esquina Cocina serves exceptional Mexican food and wonderful margaritas.
Top off your evening with a city view and a cocktail at the rooftop bar at Baker & Able. This lovely rooftop bar sits at the top of the Hilton on Jefferson Street, with an awesome view of downtown Huntsville and the historic district.
Five Points Historic District
The architecture of the homes in the Five Points Historic District is markedly different from the elaborate houses of Twickenham Huntsville. This area of Huntsville was built for hard-working middle-class residents.
As you explore this area, you’ll see a variety of one and two-story homes, 1920s bungalows, Cape Cod architecture, and popular ranch-style homes. With the introduction of the street car line to this area, residents had transportation that could take them to a job site that was further out than within walking distance.
Old Town Historic District
North of Twickenham is Huntsville’s Old Town historic district, an area that is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most houses in this historic neighborhood were built in the Victorian style, along with colonial revival bungalows. Many were built before World War II, and the area began to deteriorate after the war.
Old Town historic district is the only historic neighborhood in Huntsville Alabama, with predominantly Victorian-era homes. This area was popular as it was within walking distance of the cotton mill on Jefferson Street. Old Town’s designation with National Historic Places, granted in 1978, saves these houses from destruction and ensures that they will be maintained.
Explore Huntsville’s Old Town from East Clinton Avenue to Walker Avenue and Lincoln Street to Andrew Jackson Way.
Stand In The Shadow Of The Civil Rights Movement
Huntsville was very much a key player in the civil rights movement, although the city has not received as much publicity or recognition as other areas of Alabama.
In fact, Huntsville was the first racially integrated city in Alabama. It was through a series of lunch counter sit-ins, demonstrations, and a boycott of the downtown stores that Huntsville was officially integrated on May 11, 1962. Huntsville also has the first public and private schools to be desegregated in the state of Alabama.
Franklin Street And Adams Street In Twickenham
Explore Twickenham by taking a tour of two main roads, Franklin Street and Adams Street.
On Adams Street, you’ll find ten historic houses, many of which were built before the Civil War. Several architectural styles are found on Adams Street, including the late Federal, Italianate, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Greek revival.
Head to Franklin Street to see an array of homes and commercial buildings built prior to 1860. The Mercury Building at 313 Franklin is where the Huntsville Mercury, a Civil War newspaper, was published. Across the street from the Mercury Building, is where the 1819 Constitutional Convention was held where the Alabama Territory officially became a state
See The Pope Mansion
In 1814 Leroy Pope, the founding father of Huntsville built his mansion on the site at 403 Echols Avenue. He gave his new hometown the name Twickenham after a town of the same name in England. However, the name was changed to Huntsville in 1814.
Pope called his home Poplar Grove, and it was part of the Huntsville, Alabama, plantation system. It is the first house in Alabama to be built of brick and the site where a funeral was held for Egbert J. Jones the first Civil War casualty. There is a historical marker for the mansion on Echols Street near Adams Street.
Twickenham Historic District Tour
Let us show you around the Twickenham Historic District. With a knowledgeable local guide to lead the way, you’ll see the historic district and hear the stories of early Huntsville and the people who built this city.
You’ll see 20 of Alabama’s pre-Civil War homes and structures with an entertaining guide. Huntsville is home for us, and we are eager to share it with you. We are excited to share stories of the brave people and structures that carved Alabama’s impressive history.
Book one of our fun and educational tours! We can’t wait to meet you!