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High Cotton and Marble Columns

Published on August 4, 2015

Preserving History

Recognizing the historic significance of the First National Bank building the City of Huntsville has partnered with Bob Broadway, the current building tenant, and Big Spring Partners to place a historic preservation easement on the building.


A historic preservation easement is a legal document that runs with the deed, and protects the historic features aesthetic qualities of a historic property in perpetuity. A number of nonprofit and public-interest groups across the state of Alabama are authorized to accept and hold preservation easements. In the case of the First National Bank building the City of Huntsville will be vested with the easement. As the easement holder, the City of Huntsville is charged with monitoring the condition of the building and enforcing the easement. Using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the City of Huntsville will ensure that the building remains in good repair and no alterations or significant changes are made to the building’s façades.


Before a historic preservation easement could be placed on the bank building, a determination of historical significance had to be established. The First National Bank building meets this criterion through its inclusion in a Multiple Property nomination to the National Registered for Historic Place, which was completed on July 11, 1979.


Aside from the benefit of long-term preservation of historic buildings, easements have an added benefit of tax incentives. Property owners donating qualified preservation easements are eligible under 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code for federal income tax deductions. All and all historic preservation easement serve as effective tools for the protection of Huntsville’s and the state’s historic places.


For more information of historic preservation easements visit: http://www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives/taxdocs/easements-historic-properties.pdf