As we celebrate Alabama’s 200th birthday, it’s time to honor the people who have shaped and developed our state. On the list of influential names are musicians, writers and artists who have had a lasting impact on our daily lives.
One such artist was Frank Lockwood, a noted 20th-century Montgomery architect who designed homes, schools and public buildings throughout Alabama and the Southeast. Talladega and Anniston can claim a part of his story.
Lockwood’s name is mentioned prominently each year during “April in Talladega,” when tours are given of historic homes. In fact, 11 structures in the Silk Stocking District were designed by him.
Here are some additional Lockwood accomplishments around the state, according to an article by John B. Scott, Jr. in Alabama Heritage Magazine in spring 2002:
• In 1905, Lockwood’s plan was chosen in the design competition for the expansion and renovation of the Alabama State Capitol, a highly prized commission. New wings for the landmark were constructed from 1906-14 in keeping with his revised plan.
• Funds were set aside in 1907 by the Alabama Legislature for four new halls at the University of Alabama. Lockwood was engaged for three: Comer, Smith and Morgan halls.
• In Talladega, Carnegie-Jemison Library, built in 1908, now houses Heritage Hall Museum. The building is one of only four Alabama Carnegie Libraries still standing. “Making Alabama,” a bicentennial traveling exhibit, just ended its run at the museum; it will be on tour around the state for the next 19 months.
• Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Talladega is a classic gothic structure completed in 1928 that had Lockwood as its architect. The choice was due to a generous bequest of a church member whose will stipulated that the church be designed by Lockwood and the material be Indiana limestone.
• The federal courthouse and post office in Montgomery, completed in 1932, is considered Lockwood’s finest and last major project. In 1988, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
• Lockwood also designed numerous homes in Montgomery for affluent clientele in the 1920s.
Lockwood in Calhoun County
Earlier in his career, Lockwood began work for New York architect George B. Post. He was sent in 1890 by Post to supervise an unnamed project in Anniston.
Later, from 1917 until 1925, the firm’s office of Lockwood, Poundstone & Billie was in the Caldwell Building on Noble Street. (Edward F. Billie, the resident partner, lived at 1112 Wilmer Ave.)
The formal contract for remodeling the Calhoun County Home and Hospital for Dependents in Jacksonville was drawn by Lockwood, as reported in The Anniston Star on Aug. 23, 1928. The building is believed to have been located at 1200 Church St. S.E., part of what now is the Calhoun County Career Academy.
Plans and specifications for the addition to the Carnegie Library in Anniston in 1930 were provided by Lockwood, according to The Anniston Star in the Jan. 12 issue of that year.
After his death in 1936, a summary of Lockwood’s life in The Montgomery Advertiser stated that he was a soft-spoken man and a traditionalist in his art. His mission to be a competent craftsman and one who created sound design was always on his mind. He was able to create a combination of charm and everyday utility in his structures.
Also, is it possible that Lockwood Avenue here was named after him?
Ramsey Whitney captures role in ‘Annie’
A young actress familiar to local theater-goers will be seen in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s musical “Annie” this summer, playing July 4 through Aug. 5.
Ramsey Whitney was chosen for the role of Pepper, one of the main orphans in the cast. She is also understudy to the role of Annie. Follow her Facebook page for more performance date details.
Whitney, who is in Cast Kidz, will be entering the eighth grade at Munford Middle School this fall.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.