Studying an 1837 map of Florence, Alabama we noticed, along what is now West Irvine, a large plot...
Baptist University / Florence University for Women
In January 1890 construction began on a 7-acre campus located at the intersection of Seymore and Sherrod Streets in North Florence. Designed by local architect, F.L. Rousseau, in the Renaissance style of architecture, it had a roof topped by one central dome that was over 100 feet high and two wing domes. This was one of the highest, most modern, and most beautiful buildings in northwest Alabama at the time.
On September 15, 1891, class formally started with students representing Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. All students wore uniforms, and each had to pay $89.50 for a half term, which included room, board, & tuition.
Just 3 minutes before 3:00am on March 2, 1911 the building caught fire, and by 4:00am the walls and roof collapsed with a noise that was heard for many blocks. Defective electric wiring was determined to be the cause.