Carolyn Cortner Smith

Carolyn Cortner Smith (HMII4)

Location: Decatur, AL 35601 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 35.891', W 86° 58.663'

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Female Architect Pioneer / Designed Delano Park Structures

Born in 1894 in Normandy, Tennessee, Carolyn Cortner was raised in the Courtland area of Lawrence County, Alabama. She attended Ward-Belmont College in Tennessee. She married Wilburn Smith in 1912. She did not attend formal architecture school but studied design textbooks to become Alabama's first licensed female architect, designing her first home by 1914. Mrs. Smith acquired three area lumber mills and ran them as the Carolyn Lumber Mills. In the 1920's, the Mars family put her in charge of constructing their Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee. A world traveler, Mrs. Smith died in 1987 at 93, leaving a legacy in the history of design and historic preservation in Alabama.

Carolyn Cortner Smith was among the first women in Alabama to enter the field of architecture early in the 20th century. During the Depression-era 1930's, she designed buildings for the federal government as part of the Civil Works Administration and Works Progress Administration. She directed the WPA restoration of the Old State Bank and designed the National Guard Armory and several phases of Delano Park, including the Rose Garden, bathhouse, and bandstand. During her distinguished career, Mrs. Smith designed more than 700 homes and churches. She built a number of homes in the Decatur area and was influential in creating the Tudor-style of architecture that is predominant in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook.
HM NumberHMII4
Series This marker is part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series
Placed ByState of Alabama
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 8:56pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 502043 N 3828484
Decimal Degrees34.59818333, -86.97771667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 35.891', W 86° 58.663'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 35' 53.46" N, 86° 58' 39.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 601-799 Gordon Dr SE, Decatur AL 35601, US
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