Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion
1305 Greesnsboro Ave., Tuscaloosa
This magnificent Italianate house was built in 1859-1862 by Senator Robert Jemison Jr. to serve as his town house. The architect was John Stewart from Philadelphia, who along with his partner, Samuel Sloan, designed Bryce Hospital. The Jemison Mansion was incomplete when the Civil War erupted, causing many finishing touches to be left undone. Most of the building materials came from Jemison’s extensive plantations, and the majority of construction was performed by skilled slaves under the supervision of Philadelphia craftsmen. The house was ahead of its time technologically: it was the first in Tuscaloosa to have a fully plumbed bathroom and even had its own gas plant to provide gas for illumination. After serving for a period as the city library, it was acquired by the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society and the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa. A joint board was set up to oversee restoration of the house, which is ongoing.
Offices in the basement of the house are currently available for rent. The main floor has been carefully restored to its original 1860s appearance, and it is available to the public for weddings, parties and receptions. For more information contact the House Manager, Ian Crawford at (205) 758-2906 or visit www.jemisonmansion.com.Admission is free to the public
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