Selma historic district slowly recovers from tornado

From the West Alabama Newsroom–

The historic district in Selma is one of the biggest in the country.

Dozens of buildings located in the district were damaged — by the January 12th tornado. And many still have a long way to go — on the road to recovery.

Built in 1853 — Sturdivant Hall is an iconic piece of Selma’s rich history.

Wal Tornadohistoric0606 Pkg“It is on the National Historic Registry. We’re visited by many people because of that. We are one of the most famous historical homes in this area,” said Museum Director Mary Margaret Mims.

Mims says progress has come a long way — but there’s still a long way to go — to fully recover.

“Everybody’s been so complimentary about what we’ve done. And that helps your feelings. It really does. For people coming and see your progress. It’s slow and it gets kind of aggravating day to day when you’re trying to work with it. But everybody’s working hard,” said Mims.

“It takes time to find the right people and the right materials to put things back in a historic building,” said Julie Lyons with the Selma-Dallas Co. Historic Preservation Society.

Lyons says not only is the repair process slower with historic structures — but many times the cost of making the repairs — is more expensive.

“We can’t just slap a shingle roof on it and call it a day. We have to find the metal that matches the old stuff. In order to do that, it always costs more money,” said Lyons.

She says it could take years for the entire historic district to fully recover.

The Historic Preservation Society has set up a go-fund-me page — to help with it’s recovery efforts.

The group also has a couple of fundraising events in the works — for later this year.

Categories: News, West Alabama