Century Club Party 2023
When: Thursday, April 20 2023
Where: Dearing-Swaim Home
The Dearing-Swaim home has been available for drive-by tours only, making this a very rare and special opportunity to see the inside of this stunning 1835 Greek- Revival home. This event is for members of Historic Tuscaloosa who hold Century Club memberships or higher.
A little information about the Dearing-Swaim home
Built in 1835 when Tuscaloosa was Alabama’s state capital, the Dearing-Swaim Home pre-dates the Civil War and symbolizes the city’s position as a center for trade, agriculture, politics, and education (The Capstone was founded in 1831) during the antebellum period.
The home was built by Alexander B. Dearing who moved his family from east Mississippi to Tuscaloosa. Dearing’s brother, James, had started a home a year earlier north of his brother’s estate which now is the University Club (James Dearing only lived 2 years at the residence because of problems with the noise and antics of UA students).
The Dearing Home is considered the states most perfect Greek Revival Temple-style mansion.
An architectural style popular at the time that took its cues from Greek temples with its iconic columns while keeping thoroughness and consistency throughout the building. The interior of the home is purely colonial with staterooms, wide plank floors, brick walls, the winding staircase, high frescoed ceilings, and a fireplace in every room.
The materials to build the house were primarily sourced locally. The bricks were handmade using clay dug from Pitts near Cribbs Mill about one mile south of the home. The heart pine was sourced from nearby forests. It took 5 years to build the home. The original roof was composed of heart of pine shingles and was later replaced with the ”terne” metal roof, an alloy of tin and lead that has crimped along the edges to form a seam. The patio and landscape brick on the outside was done in later years and is composed of bricks from older homes in Tuscaloosa that were torn down.
Carrie Fitts has put her touch to the home which includes repairs to the plaster and soffits, landscaping and renovation of the kitchen and downstairs bathrooms. Working with local designer, Matt Clinton, she has chosen wallpaper and paint schemes that highlight the homes, architectural features. In the ballroom, the wall covering features peacocks as a nod to the famous outside topiaries on the front lawn.
Carrie is passionate about showcasing Tuscaloosa’s quality of life and hospitality of its citizens…. especially as more and more people discover the beauty of The Queen City. Her renovation of the Dearing-Swaim home is a commitment to keeping her community in the forefront of her business and sharing its beauty and splendor. She looks forward to restoring the livelihood and activity these grounds and home have known for more than 185 years.