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Photo journey: My favorite historic downtown streetscapes (so far)

Shown above: at the corner of Choccolocco and Main in Oxford, Alabama

It’s a little ironic, but I suppose it’s normal. I didn’t get hooked on historic downtowns until I had a fair amount of old age on my own frontage.

I was in my early 50s when I first realized how much I enjoyed the experience of simply gazing upon the 100- to 175-year-old buildings that can be found in just about every old town.

This page includes some of my favorite photos from the historic downtowns that have been featured on this new website, as of September 2020, and some that will soon be featured. Please check back for updates.


Rome’s Broad Street: Where I got hooked

Downtown Rome, GA’s Broad Street is the place that first stirred the passion within me for historic commercial strips. I wanted to see it while the crepe myrtles were in bloom. The colors were amazing, and it was 99 degrees when I hit the sidewalks to walk from 8th Avenue to 1st Avenue, and back again, taking pictures.

See Summer 2020: Our best streetscape photos from Broad Street in Rome for 25 more photos from that day.


A rainy winter day in Scottsboro

On January 18, 2020, I learned that any day is a good day for taking pictures in a historic downtown. The rain was not a disadvantage at the colorful Scottsboro Public Square Historic District.


It took me five decades to wander upon these amazing historic places

I have lived within a 65-70 minute drive of downtown Chattanooga for most of my 59 years, and been to the city at least 100 times, but I had never seen the 127-year-old  post office, the 108-year-old county courthouse and the 113-year-old Elk building shown above. I had never seen the Bluff View Arts District, Main Street or numerous other interesting sites either. 

Find out what else I wandered upon during my Oct. 2020 visit: Best of Chattanooga: Historic places to see on your next trip.


Look what theyre doing in Oxford

A few years ago, the folks of Oxford made a committment to making their tiny historic downtown a better place. They’ve done a great job. It certainly is one of the most picturesque downtowns I’ve seen so far.

For more photos, check out my article, Don’t bypass Oxford’s wonderful historic downtown.


So much color at Southside Square in Huntsville

Home of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in north Alabama, you can be sure Southside Square will be a sight to behold in the spring and summer. Please visit my page: Huntsville historic places: Part 1.


Downtown Chickamauga would be a fun stop on any trip to northwest Georgia or the Chattanooga area

I had never seen downtown Chickamauga until I participated in a charity bike ride that passed through there in 2014. Now it’s one of my favorites old downtowns.

To see 40 additional photos from historic places in downtown Chickamauga, visit the article: History-themed fun for everyone in downtown Chickamauga.


Cave Spring captivates in the summertime

Cave Spring may be home to the most historic sites per capita of any of the places to be featured on southernoutings.com. When it comes to visually-interesting old places, the tiny city has a great deal to see. Please see my article: A walking tour of Cave Spring’s historic places.


Almost overwhelmed by nostalgic delights in Cedartown

Nostalgic vibes are abundant in the historic part of Main Street in Cedartown. And there are more other historic places to see than expected. Please check out my article, The historic Main Street business district steals the show in Cedartown.


Stevenson’s sensational setting makes snapping striking streetscapes a cinch

Stevenson, Alabama’s small, old downtown is way out-of-the-way for most travelers, and a majority of the buildings are empty. But, it has a strong historic presence and it’s quite photogenic from many spots. For several other photos, see my article, Stevenson’s train depot and Main Street are a historic eyeful.


I must return to Noble Street in Anniston

When I wondered around Anniston by bike to get pictures for my article, Exploring Anniston’s surprisingly large inventory of historic places, it was like discovering the city for the first time. It instantly became one of my favorite small cities in regard to historic streetscapes, and I hope to return as soon as possible to see more.


It’s easy to get nice streetscape photos in downtown Springville

The small historic buildings and the narrow Main Street in this cozy village just north of metro Birmingham has lots of enticing windows, landscaping and covered sidewalks that make it hard not to capture colorful streetscape photos worthy of sharing. See the article, Enjoying Springville’s one-of-a-kind downtown.


It’s hard to beat an old downtown with a mountain backdrop

And a rainbow and some fall colors can’t hurt either. 

Fort Payne’s historic downtown isn’t always at the end of the rainbow. But, it is always in the narrow valley between Lookout Mountain and Little Ridge, and that’s a good thing if you like beautiful vistas in the spring, summer and fall.

Please see Fort Payne’s historic places provide plenty of glimpses into the past.


Gadsden’s Broad Street provides many great historic street views

If not for these two quiet street performers, I would have had Broad Street to myself on the blustery Sunday morning that I walked from one end of the old commercial strip to the other taking pictures for my article, Gadsden Alabama’s enduring historic downtown.

A look at Center Avenue in historic downtown Piedmont

Unless you live in the Piedmont area, or are visiting the city to access the Chief Ladiga Trail, you will probably never see it’s small, attractive old downtown.

The next time you’re in the Anniston/Oxford, Jacksonville or Weiss Lake area, take a side trip to check it out. If you are a fan of historic-places, I think you’ll be glad you did.

Check out the Piedmont photo page for more: Piedmont’s historic downtown in pictures.


The colorful Guntersville historic downtown

I love the 400 block of Gunter Avenue which is across the street from the modern Marshall County courthouse in the center of the city’s lovely historic downtown. Visit my article, Mountain-lake setting heightens the wow factor of Guntersville’s historic downtown.


A vintage view in Lafayette

The Mars Historic District in Lafayette, Georgia, is literally on the other side of the tracks about five blocks from the primary Main Street commercial district. Both offer many opportunities to enjoy nice streetscapes. For more pictures, see A look at Lafayette’s historic places in the summer of 2020.


Stylish South Pittsburg’s Cedar Avenue

I always enjoy the streetscapes from any spot along this city’s excellent historic downtown which stretches for two long blocks. See several more photos of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, historic sites on my article, The South Pittsburg historic sightseeing trip.


Childhood memories of downtown shopping

I remember when most of my family’s shopping took place in the downtown of the small city where I grew up. That was the 1960s. As much as any small historic downtown that I’ve discovered recently, Oneonta is full of reminders of those bygone days including vintage signs and windows full of merchandise.

See more Oneonta photos here: I didn’t know what I was missing in Oneonta.


Courthouse square in Ashville, Alabama

Ashville is home to some of the oldest historic houses still standing in the northern half of Alabama. Within walking distance of the square, there are four houses and a courthouse that were all originally built between 1825 and 1852, as well as two nice Queen Anne houses that were built in 1890.

Most of the commercial buildings were built in the 1920s, but they provide a setting that complements those older structures nicely.

For more about Ashville, see my article, Downtown Ashville: More than a fare share of stately historic places.

This page is a work in progress. Updates and new photos will be posted as other historic downtowns are featured on this site.

So far, I have taken pictures in only about 32.7 percent of the historic downtowns that I hope to feature on this site. Plans are to add many other Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee cities as I am able to do so.