The Shoals Chamber of Commerce recently held a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the new Tuscumbia City Municipal Building, a.k.a Tuscumbia City Hall, a.ka. The Old Tuscumbia Post Office Building. According to Mayor Shoemaker, the original plans were to replace the Post Office lettering above the entry way with the Tuscumbia City Municipal Building, but due to cost of each letter they settled on Tuscumbia City Hall. And then, after consideration for what the history of the building stood for and the undertaking to preserve and re-purpose the building, the final decision was made to leave the lettering as is with “Tuscumbia Post Office”, so that future generations would know of it’s history.
There were many local dignitaries present for the celebration including former mayors of Tuscumbia, Mayor Shoemaker and the current City Council Members, Shoals Chamber of Commerce Representatives, City Department Heads, City Workers, the Interior Design Team, the Architect, and other guests. The Deshler High School Band was on hand to play the National Athem for the opening ceremony. In addition, there was a large crowd of local citizens who took the Open House tour of the new facility.
History of Tuscumbia City Hall (furnished by the City of Tuscumbia)
US. Treasury funding was secured and construction began in 1936 on a new brick building to serve as the Post Office for Tuscumbia, Alabama, moving mail service from the former Young’s Carriage Factory, corner of Main and Fourth Streets. The design is typical of post offices built around the county at a time when the US. Postal Service was expanding. Emblems of transportation for moving mail across land, sea and air are seen in the entablatures above three portals of the facade. In 2004 the downtown Tuscumbia Post Office was closed and operations were moved to a new building on US. Hwy. 72. In 2005, the building was purchased by developer Harvey Robbins, who in turn, generously agreed to sell it to the City at cost. Renovation, completed in late 2012, converted the old post office to serve as Tuscumbia City Hall. Tuscumbia, Alabama, a city that today boasts a vibrant and progressive citizenry, began when a group of settlers joined the Chickasaws around 1817 at the source of fresh, cool water that bubbled from the limestone rocks, just a short distance south of the site on which today’s City Hall stands. The town’s founding is illustrated in a mural painted in 1939 by Texas artist Jack McMillan, one of many works of art commissioned for post offices as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during The Great Depression. Chief Tuscumbia is depicted in the painting giving welcome to the pioneer Dickson family. In tribute, the City bears his name. The preservation of the old post office building and its adaptive reuse as municipal headquarters is emblematic of the city’s endurance. The newly designed interior holds the offices of the Mayor, City Clerk and the City Judicial Hall. The impressive mural still graces the entry.