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Southron

Selma

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Selma officials received a $1 million check for the development of the Selma Interpretive Center, an estimated $20 million project that will chronicle the city's role in the voting rights movement.

The interpretive center, the second of three planned along the Selma-to-Montgomery Historic Trail, is expected to house an interactive education and research center, a children's interactive center, an oral history center, a social justice and civil rights library, an auditorium, classrooms, a gift shop and a dining area. Scheduled for completion in 2010, the project will include the renovation and adaptive reuse of a building at the corner of Broad Street and Water Avenue. The renovation will include work on the fa

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Gourmet Services, Inc., the nation's largest African-American food service management company, will manage the historic St. James Hotel in Selma. The Atlanta firm, which provides food services to a number of colleges, has a client list that includes the CNN Center in Atlanta. The St. James will be the company's first hotel.

Services at the hotel will be expanded to include a valet, concierge and international food with a southern flavor. Chef Marvin Woods of the cooking show "Home Plate" will develop the dining room menu. Other planned improvements include flat screen TVs for every room, and an exercise area with state-of-the-art equipment.

The hotel, listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was built in 1837 and underwent a $6 million renovation in 1996, becoming an anchor for downtown revitalization.

Selma Times-Journal: Historic St. James Hotel under new management

St. James Hotel website

StJamesHotel1.jpg

StJamesHotel2.jpg

StJamesHotel3.jpg

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Craig Field Airport and Industrial Complex officials are trying to fill empty buildings and put their facilities to more full use. The Craig Field complex is made up of the former Craig Air Force Base, which closed in 1977. The airfield has an 8,002 feet runway with 1,000 feet of paved overrun on each end.

Craig Field tenants employ over 1,200 people in the 700-acre industrial complex. Current tenants include the Alabama State Trooper Academy, an aircraft maintence operation, a furniture manufacturer, beverage distributor and Hyundai suppliers. The airport authority just completed a 50,000 sq. ft. speculative building that is now available for lease.

Selma Times-Journal: Craig Field has interesting history, promising future

Craig Field website

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A new $24.5 million State Trooper training facility will help anchor the Craig Field industrial park, and provide an economic boost for Selma. Plans for the project include six new buildings, which will provide classrooms, administrative offices, new dormitories for trooper cadets and Department of Corrections trainees, a common cafeteria and a new gymnasium. The project will be built over the next three years.

Trooper cadets spend six months at the training center, and law enforcement officers attend an abbreviated 13 weeks in order to become state troopers.

Selma Times-Journal: Troopers getting new training facility

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Representatives from the National Park Service toured the future site of the Selma Interpretive Center (see post #1) this week, and said that conceptual renderings of the $20 million facility will be available within six months. The dilapidated downtown corner will be converted into an interactive, state-of-the-art 30,000 sq. ft. tourist destination with an Imax Theater. The city secured funds to relocate utilities underground, and an engineering firm determined that the buildings were safe enough to proceed.

Selma Times-Journal: Selma Interpretive Center design plans in the making

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Representatives from the National Park Service toured the future site of the Selma Interpretive Center (see post #1) this week, and said that conceptual renderings of the $20 million facility will be available within six months. The dilapidated downtown corner will be converted into an interactive, state-of-the-art 30,000 sq. ft. tourist destination with an Imax Theater. The city secured funds to relocate utilities underground, and an engineering firm determined that the buildings were safe enough to proceed.

Selma Times-Journal: Selma Interpretive Center design plans in the making

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Photos of the Selma interpretive center site, at the corner of Broad and Water, on the right just after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge and entering downtown.

SelmaCtr1.jpg

SelmaCtr2.jpg

I'm not sure how many of the buildings on the Broad St. side will be included in the project.

SelmaCtr3.jpg

Lowndes County Interpretive Center along the Selma to Montgomery Trail:

Lowndes_Ctr.jpg

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The new management team has made substantial improvements to the St. James Hotel since late last summer. Over $300,000 in improvements have been made, and service has improved as employment at the hotel increased from 10 to 30. The restaurant and lounge have been successfully reopened, after being closed for lack of business.

Rooms at the hotel range from $105-250, and one of the most popular is where outlaws Jesse and Frank James stayed while hiding after bank and train robberies in the Midwest.

St. James Hotel making a comeback

Video: New life for historic Selma hotel

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A few years ago DruidCity started a thread for Selma in the Urban Planet Photos forum. Check it out here: Selma photos. :good:

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Thanks for posting that article Southron and great pix D-City. I'd never seen them before.

Selma will always hold a special place in my heart since it's my Dad's hometown and most of the members of his side of the family lived there at one time or another. My dad actually grew up in Selmont (know where that is?) and many relatives worked in downtown Selma or out at Craig. I spent many summers w/my relatives out in Summerfield and Orrville as a boy. The big thing to do was to drive into town and swim and eat at the Country Club. My great-uncle was rather popular there since he was the State Rep. from the Dallas county area for years.

For many years when my parents returned to Selma for HS reunions and such, they'd stay at the St. James, however the last few times they stayed w/friends b/c the hotel had declined. It's good to know it's back on it's feet again. I'll let them know that. They are in their 80's now and my dad was in the Selma Class of '39.........and as he hates to tell, by the year '46 over half the boys in his class had been killed.

Thanks for reading and Long live Selma!

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Great article! Whatever happened to the Albert Hotel? Somehow, I don't think it's still there. It's good to see that this one has made a comeback.

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Great article! Whatever happened to the Albert Hotel? Somehow, I don't think it's still there.

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I took a few pictures of Selma and posted them in the Selma photos thread referenced in post #9. Here are a few of them.

Broad Street looking south toward the Edmund Pettus bridge

Broad_Bridge.jpg

BroadStS4.jpg

Broad Street looking north

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BroadStN3.jpg

Water Street

WaterSt_5.jpg

Sturdivant Hall

Sturdivant1.jpg

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