Since I’ve been spilling the beans about Rural Studio lately, I prefer to open the doors of your imagination to more than just our little wanderings. To learn about Rural Studio, Fred Bernstein’s article is a great place to start and the back roads of west Alabama are a great place to continute.
Mockbee liked to work in Hale County because there was no building code enforcement which allowed his students to experiment with “unconventional materials and forms” ranging from surplus Chevy Caprice windshields to bales of hay. I think about this when my hopes for Rural Studio designs in Alberta City come to mind, and I hope that Tuscaloosa’s new building code does not limit new construction to the tacky chain-mall style (and parking lot hell) of Midtown Village. I’ve noticed that much of the rebuilding in the tornado-damaged areas includes the same dull facades which promise to turn us into a generic version of the suburbia everyone is trying to escape these days.
The public restrooms at Perry Lakes Park in Marion, Alabama.
But back to the good stuff- here’s my Rural Studio hit list for our roamschooling adventures this summer and fall:
- The Glass Chapel at Mason’s Bend, the hamlet near Sawyerville which includes the church built with Caprice windshields.
- The Butterfly House in Mason’s Bend. (Around 32.728822,-87.797794)
- The Green Dirt House in Mason’s Bend. (32.728822,-87.797794)
- Harris Hay Bale House and Smokehouse in Mason’s Bend. (32.727743,-87.800685)
- The Towering Sky public restrooms at Perry Lakes in Marion. (32.694866,-87.243649)
- The underground public restrooms at Perry Lakes in Marion. (32.694961,-87.243762)
- The Uncle Henry House on County Road 23. (32.564669,-87.442766)
- Butch Anthony’s cool-sided Organic Farmer’s Stand house of Doo Nanny repute dangling near Newbern. (32.631243,-87.499747)
- Music Man’s house outside Greensboro on County Road 19. Check out the StoryCorps.
- The Bodark Amphitheater and Chantilly House in Newbern. (32.597870,-87.534036)
- The Bridge House in Greensboro.
- Rural Heritage Center in (32.271531,-87.626481)
- The Safe House Museum in Greensboro. A must on all levels of spirit.
- The Carpet House in Newbern.
- The Newbern Baseball Club field in Newbern. (32.605046,-87.529900)
- The Patrick House in Newbern.
- The Fire Station in Newbern.
- The Newbern Playground in Newbern. (32.599763,-87.533956)
- The Subrosa Chapel/Pantheon built by Carol Mockbee, Sambo’s daughter, as a tribute in Newbern. (32.597915,-87.534401)
- The Shiles House in Hale County.
- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Selma a stone’s throw away from Old Cahawba. (32.319434, -87.105263)
- Amos Kennedy’s residence/studio in or near Akron.
- The Dorothy Wilson House near Greensboro. (32.717882,-87.578003)
- Hale County Animal Shelter in Greensboro.
- The road sign fence in Greensboro.
- The Connor House near Greensboro. (32.705366,-87.581168)
- The Antioch Baptist Church somewhere in between places. (32.824360,-87.450448)
- Lion’s Park in Greensboro.
For more histories, details, and personal blurbs on Rural Studio, pick an asterisk and click.