Friday, June 23, 2017

Greensboro Hotel

In the summer of 1936, when James Agee and Walker Evans were working with the tenant farmers, Agee would sleep in one of the tenant houses. Walker Evans didn't like that, he would rather stay at the hotel in Greensboro.

I have no idea when it was built but I found an old picture online, showing that the structure had an elaborate balcony structure not only on the side facing main street but also running down the side along Market Street.

When Walker Evans was staying at the hotel, he took two pictures of Main Street, most likely from the balcony on the second floor. One to the East in the direction of the courthouse:

Walker Evans: Greensboro, Alabama. Main street buildings and county
courthouse cupola, courtesy

Most of the buildings on this picture are still there today.

And one to the West:

Walker Evans: County seat of Hale County, Alabama, courtesy:
It took me a while to find out which buildings I see on this picture: It was the use of a long telephoto lens that is confusing. The balcony on the left side of the picture belongs to the Greensboro Opera House (the brick building on the very right on my picture below). Therefore Evans must have stood way on the left corner of the hotel's balcony to photograph this picture.

Today the Greensboro Hotel is not a hotel anymore. After closing down as a hotel the building hosted a sewing factory as well as church congregations before it was left to become quite ruinous.

A while ago the building was purchased by a donor and given to the charity organization of Project Horseshoe Farm which is offering multiple programs to strengthen the community. 

The ground floor is almost finished, therefore the move from another structure on Main Street is about to happen soon. 

The second floor is already being worked on, and the third floor, which will offer housing to volunteers and fellows, will still need some time to be finished.

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