The A.B. Brown Building
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Surface Area: 2000 sqft
Year Completed: 2021
Architect: Bargainer Davis Williams Architects & Associates
General Contractor: Danny Clements Construction
The A.B. Brown Building (newly named by the new owners) was built in 1890. The original facade was designed with cast iron columns and ornamental detailing customary of the late 19th and early 20th century periods. The 2-story brick building is approximately 2000 sq. feet and has been uninhabitable since the death of Ms. Anne Belle Brown who owned a thriving candle and event business.
The new proposed use for the building will be an office space on the first and second floors. On the exterior portions of the building, we will perform a condition assessment of the masonry system. We will assess any needed temporary stabilization preventing imminent hazards. The three main categories for repairs will be, in this order: horizontal surface protection, masonry system repairs, and masonry and mortar material repairs.
The interior work will include the addition of new drywall metal stud partitions and new solid core wood doors with hollow metal frames and wood trimmed veneer. New lighting, power, and data circuiting shall be installed throughout the building. New mechanical systems will be provided throughout the building.
There is the architectural significance in preserving a building built in the late 19th and early 20th century time periods. Additionally, the building holds special significance as a result of being owned by an African American woman with a thriving business in downtown Montgomery during the pivotal time period in the deep south. The building is dedicated to her memory to honor her legacy in the City of Montgomery.
Anne Belle Brown was an African American woman business owner who owned and operated a candle shop in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. She did weddings, religious functions and made custom herbs & incense. She had customers from all over the state of Alabama to come purchase her candles.
She participated in the civil rights movement along with others. She was one of the first sharecroppers to get kicked off their family land because she registered to vote. After she was kicked off their family land, she and her family settled in a place called Tent City known as Lowndes County. Tent City was a settlement on black-owned property near Route 80 in Lowndes County, formed in 1965 for sharecroppers who were also kicked off their land for voter registration activity. Tents were set up on the site to accommodate participants of the Selma to Montgomery march. This was also where she started her candle business.