The Alston Building
, is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Greensboro Avenue and Sixth Street
. It was completed in 1910
on the site of the old Tuscaloosa County courthouse, which had been in use since 1845.
A “new” courthouse was constructed on the site of the present building in 1908, on which originally stood the residence of early Tuscaloosa merchant Thomas Maxwell. The Alston Building
was the city’s first “skyscraper,”
and was originally regarded as the tallest building on a dirt road in America. In the “then” view the building is capped by a huge lighted sign, “Try Tuscaloosa,”
the slogan of the Board of Trade, later to become the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the sign, the building was topped by a lighted garden, the scene of many social events.
Part of the ground floor of the building was originally occupied by the Davis-Leach Drug Company, a partnership between Luther Davis and Dr. Sydney Leach.
Mr. Davis later moved his store across Greensboro adjacent to the Bama Theater, and the space was occupied for many years thereafter by the H & W Drug Company
. Mr. Davis also served for many years as the mayor of Tuscaloosa.The Alston Building
is little changed in appearance from its early days, removal of the “Try Tuscaloosa”
sign and window awnings being the most noticeable alterations, and of course, the streets are now paved. Click on photo to enlarge.