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“Nineteenth Century City” Video Project, University of Alabama (Daniel Lopez)

During the music video presented by the undergraduate class “The Nineteenth Century City”, many different historical buildings located in Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately, during the 1800s, while the Civil War was still under way, the Union army set fire to and burned several of these timeless buildings. One building lost in the fire was the rotunda for the University of Alabama. Only one photograph of the rotunda found in an old book give us an idea of what the building looked like. It was located where Gorgas Library currently is, and drew inspiration from two notable sources. Both the Parthenon inspired it and the rotunda found in the University of Virginia. Through modern technology, we have been able to take the existing photograph and create a 3-D model of the rotunda. Another building that Dr. Mellown discussed was the former state capitol building that was located in Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa was actually the capital of Alabama for twenty years in the 1820-40s, with the capitol building lost to the fire. Several artifacts were recovered from ten feet under the buildings ground, and efforts were made to use the recovered building fragments to create a monument in Capitol Park. Several fragments and sections of columns were found in the backyards of Tuscaloosa resident’s homes. Tuscaloosa lost the title of state capitol due to the lack of roads in Alabama and the only way to navigate to Tuscaloosa on a commercial level was by using the Warrior River, which was only possible six months out of the year.