April 20, 2018

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Historical Commission



For Immediate Release
April 20, 2018

Alabama Historical Commission, Marketing & Public Relations Manager:
Jacqulyn Kirkland, 334-230-2690 or jacqulyn.kirkland@ahc.alabama.gov

On March 28, 2018 the Russell School project in Mobile, Alabama, was approved by the National Park Service for the twenty-percent federal rehabilitation tax credit program.

The 1915 Russell School Building, and the 1945 cafeteria building are contributing resources in the Oakleigh Garden Historic District.

The property was first purchased by the Mobile Board of School Commissioners in 1913.  The Russell School was constructed on the property and opened in 1915.  A program for physically disabled children was established at the school in 1948, and fifty students were enrolled in that program by 1956.

In 1968, following desegregation, the Russell School building was converted to office space for the school board’s curriculum department, while the cafeteria was converted to textbook storage space.  

The current owner rehabilitated the former Russell School Building and cafeteria for use as apartments.  There was little change to the exterior appearance of the building.

Historic transoms were retained, while new windows compatible with the historic design were installed.  Simple balconies were added to the rear of the building where fire escapes were previously located.  Interior corridor plans were restored on the upper levels to original design.  New doorways in the hallway corridors were framed in such a way that is reminiscent of the historic door/transom configuration.  Historic stairways were kept and unaltered.  Former classrooms were sensitively designed to retain the feeling of a classroom, while creating a modern living space.

About the Federal Tax Credit Program: The National Park Service oversees the Preservation Tax Incentive program jointly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To qualify, the building must be listed in the National Register, either individually or in a historic district. Additionally, the property must be used for income-producing purposes. For more information concerning standards and guidelines please visit www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives.htm and http://ahc.alabama.gov/federaltaxcredits.aspx   

The Alabama Historical Commission manages the program for the National Park Service in the state of Alabama. The Commission administers the federal restoration guidelines so the historic materials and look of the building remain.

Renovating and reusing these historic buildings is a win-win situation for the owner and the community.

To learn more about the tax incentive, visit http://ahc.alabama.gov/federaltaxcredits.aspx or contact Chloe Mercer at 334-230-2669/ chloe.mercer@ahc.alabama.gov.

About the Alabama Historical Commission
Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit ahc.alabama.gov    



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