Lowndes Academy building – heart of Lowndesboro community for nearly 100 years

Published 8:31 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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Lowndes Academy began serving Lowndes County families’ educational needs in 1966. But the school’s legacy spans back nearly a century through a historic structure at the heart of the Lowndesboro community.

The campus’ main building, constructed in 1924, remains a source of pride today for students who connect to their local history through the building.

“A lot of students have family members, whether it’s their parents or others, who have gone here,” said Barry Mohun, Lowndes Academy headmaster. “Family members remember the wood floor and high ceilings and pass that on to the children. They appreciate the building more because of that.”

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According to Lowndesboro Landmarks Foundation President Tyson Howard, the residents of Lowndes County established a boy’s and girl’s school around 1830. The school operated for seven years and split in 1837 to become the Lowndesboro Female Institution.

Around 1850, the institute relocated to the current Lowndes Academy site, operating there until the structure burned.

Howard says the current building was erected in 1924 and functioned as Lowndesboro Elementary. Two wings were added in 1935, expanding its capacity to serve up through grade nine.

“At some point, it went back to serving up through grade six and was closed in 1957,” said Howard. “The kids went to Hayneville Elementary School after that.”

The Lowndesboro Recreation Club purchased the building for use as a recreation center until 1965.

Howard described a report in which Robert Gamble, former Senior Architectural Historian at the Alabama Historical Commissions outlined the current building’s design.

According to Howard, the building is designed in the standard school layout of its day, an “E” shaped plan with three parallel wings — two containing classrooms and an auditorium in the middle.

The basic building material is fire resistant, glazed hollow blocks with stucco on the front side and part of the rear. Sloping parapet walls hint at Spanish flavor and the interior architecture remains remarkably unchanged and well cared for.

“The citizens of Lowndesboro take pride in maintaining the public and private structures in the town,” Howard reflected. “Lowndes Academy sits right in the heart of Lowndesboro and it has always been put to great use. The citizens of Lowndes County take pride in keeping a beautiful functioning building.”