I can’t believe it took me so long to stumble across this incredible gem of a house but never mind, here it is. I thought since we look at so many abandoned properties, what a breath of fresh air it is to see one that’s been adopted and given a second chance.
These images appeared in an exclusive for the New York Times over two years ago, photographed by Rupert Rausch of GAS Design and were published online on Yatzer. What you’re looking at is the former Harmony Club, a former men’s social club in a Jewish neighborhood of Selma, Alabama, built in 1909.
At 20,000 square feet, complete with ballroom, the property has an amazing view over the Alabama River. The club was opened in the late 1930s and closed in the 1960s, when it was left abandoned for almost forty years. In 1999, David Hurlbut bought it for just $100,000, including all ‘140 cubic yards of guano’ (pigeon sh*t) left over from the pigeons. It took two years and $150,000 for the industrial designer and architectural consultant to restore the house which was in ruin– not to mention lacking the basics such as electricity and plumbing.
The ground floor was once the club’s retail space, the second floor a restaurant and the men’s lounge and the third floor was the ballroom. Women were ‘occasionally allowed’.
Get this: David bought that fridge which used to belong to a New Orleans Jazz musician and good friend of Louis Armstrong at auction for $100. “Louis Armstrong used to get stuff out of it. I think that’s as cool as it gets.”
David left the bathroom completely untouched.
In the ballroom he hosts movie nights and an annual ball! Apparently people call David’s house the Studio 54 of Semla!
I think it’s time we started putting our money where our mouth is with all this fascination for abandoned places! Tomorrow we’re going be to looking at some historical abandoned homes for sale!! A few fixer-uppers to say the least. Stay tuned!
By the New York Times via Yatzer
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