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Historic marker recognizes Edmonton Heights’ place on federal registry

Published on November 6, 2023

A historic marker gives the history of the Edmonton Heights neighborhood. There is a tree in the background and two people talking.

It’s official – a marker at the corner of Meridian Street and Wilkenson Drive recognizes Edmonton Heights’ listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the City’s growth underscores why it’s so important to recognize the importance and celebrate the rich legacy of older neighborhoods.

This historic marker acknowledges a pivotal moment for our African American community during a turbulent time in our nation. Preserving neighborhoods like Edmonton Heights provides an opportunity to leverage the lessons of yesterday to build a brighter tomorrow.” — Mayor Tommy Battle

Edmonton Heights was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2021. Preservation Planner Katie Stamps said it was the ninth historic district to receive the designation but the first historically Black residential neighborhood to be listed.

“Its unique architecture and fascinating history make Edmonton Heights an integral part of Huntsville, and we are very excited to share its story with our community,” she said.

About Edmonton Heights

Located northeast of downtown Huntsville and platted in 1958, the neighborhood provided housing options for African Americans who lost their homes because of Huntsville’s Urban Renewal program, the Heart of Huntsville. The neighborhood’s development illustrates the effects of post-war growth, Urban Renewal and racial discrimination in federal and local housing policy on the African American community.

Its residents included teachers, nurses, brick masons, cab drivers, preachers, cooks and janitors. Rev. Ezekiel Bell, a founding pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church, hosted civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in his home after the men were denied hotel accommodations.

Edmonton Heights is notable for its architecture, predominately intact post World War II era housing, and as a representative example of a housing development by Folmar and Flinn, one of the largest speculative building companies in the South at the time. Edmonton Heights is the most well-preserved of the African American neighborhoods established by Folmar and Flinn in Alabama.

Click here to learn more about Historic Preservation in Huntsville. Click here to visit the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.