May 20, 2022

Historical buildings demolished in Gadsden

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Downtown Gadsden will look a little different as buildings that are documented to have been stand since at least 1896 were demolished.

Many citizens stood by watching as the buildings that once housed thriving businesses were torn down.

A few favorite memories spoke of by many were the Booker Store that had wallpaper, paints and general merchandise and a restaurant that the Gin workers would enjoy daily.

Owner, Bubba Simmons shows the old bank vault that was set aside from the rubble.

Other stores remembered included the Bank of Crockett, City Hall, a carpentry shop, the old post office and Fred Fergusons’ grocery store.

Dorothy’s Glamorama, a beauty salon owned by Dorothy Cook, will remain standing and in business to serve the community.

Dickie Matthews owns the red building and property closest to the beauty salon while James “Bubba” Simmons owned the other buildings and property on this strip of history.

Mattews and Simmons chose to demolish the structures as they had become structurally unsafe. The decision wasn’t taken lightly and they came to a resolve approximately two months ago to move forward with plans to renew the area.

Right now there are no plans to rebuild but the land will be filled in with dirt and grass.

“It saddens my heart to see a piece of history leave,” said Gadsden Mayor Randy Smith. “This should make the roadway in the area safer and it gives the town potential for future growth.”

Among the rubble, the old bank safe and other safety filing equipment were a sight for many spectators to enjoy a piece of history brought out from hiding within the deteriorating buildings.

While the buildings may be temporary structures, the memories formed within will last for lifetimes in the Gadsden community.

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