The Pillars continues as a beloved home

Published 5:59 pm Monday, November 21, 2022

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Jeff and Liz Berry were looking for a little vacation home six years ago when they fell in love with Lowndesboro and purchased The Shadows, an 1830s era farmhouse near the heart of the town.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Berry’s moved there permanently from Atlanta, and in October, the couple purchased The Pillars, a historic and updated mansion at 500 South Broad Street.

“We’ve always wanted an older home,” Liz Berry said. “The Shadows was going to be our weekend home. We always admired The Pillars. When Brenda Friedman put it up for sale and eventually lowered the price, we gave her a call and that’s how it started.”

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Friedman purchased and updated the home, sinking her heart and soul into the place, Berry said.

The Berry’s purchased the home fully furnished along with 5.5 surrounding acres. Rumors have since circulated that the home will become a bed and breakfast, but Berry confirmed the residence will continue to function as a private home.

“Brenda had other offers from people out of town, but she said, ‘I knew y’all would be good stewards of the place and you love Lowndesboro,’” Liz Berry said “We’ve really gotten to know the community. Everyone was thrilled that it wasn’t an out-of-towner. There’s no bed and breakfast, just us.”

The Pillars is a two-story, heart pine wood frame structure built in the Greek Revival style around 1856 by Archibald Tyson, a cotton planter from North Carolina. Tyson raised his family there and was followed by his son, who also raised his family in the home.

The house eventually proved too difficult and costly for Tyson’s daughter-in-law Bessie to maintain in the 1950s and fell into disrepair and disuse before being restored by subsequent owners.

The Pillars is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

“The house needs to be lived in,” Berry said. “It can’t be a weekend or vacation type of place unless you made it a business and we’re not into that kind of business.”

With four bedrooms and three and a half baths, the house offers 4,775 square feet of living space and came with thoughtfully selected furnishing and modern conveniences.

The Berrys lived in Atlanta for 25 years and had never before lived in a small town.

“We didn’t know the love small town people will give you,” Berry said. “Little by little, we began to know and help out our neighbors when we could. We just ended up loving [Lowndesboro] more and more. There is no other house in the world we would trade it for.”