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The University Club: A Beautiful Piece of Tuscaloosa History

One of Tuscaloosa’s most beautiful and historic homes sits on the corner of Queen City Avenue and University Boulevard. Known as The University Club, this home once housed many important Alabamians, including Governor Arthur P. Bagby, governor of Alabama from 1837- 1841.

Tuscaloosa’s Pioneering Legacy

At that time, Tuscaloosa was the state capital, and the Dearing home was officially the governor’s mansion. Built-in 1834 by Captain James Dearing, the man who piloted the first steamboat from Mobile to Tuscaloosa, the house was Tuscaloosa’s first residence to be built in the Classical Revival style.

A Beautiful Piece of Tuscaloosa History

A Beautiful Piece of Tuscaloosa History

From Warner Family Gift to University Gem

The home became part of the University of Alabama when the Warner family donated it in 1944. In 1946, it was established as the University Club, a private club for faculty and staff. It later opened membership to other area residents and became well known for its delicious buffet lunches and football game day meals. It has also been a sought-after venue for many weddings, receptions, and other special events. With its arched windows, rich furnishings, and beautifully kept lawn, it provided the perfect setting for such events.

The historical marker in front describes the history of this lovely home.

The historical marker in front describes the history of this lovely home.

A New Chapter for a Historic Venue

The University Club closed before COVID-19 and has not yet reopened. But plans for a major renovation have been announced by the UA Board of Trustees. In addition to getting a $17 million dollar makeover, the club will also become a place for UA students in hospitality to get hands-on experience. The reconstruction will preserve the historic architectural features of the home, while also giving it modern-day convenience.

Plans for a $17 million renovation are underway with completion expected in May 2024.

Plans for a $17 million renovation are underway with completion expected in May 2024.

If you’ve been missing the University Club, take heart. The renovation should be complete in the spring of 2024. With this carefully planned reconstruction, the home should be restored to its former glory and will once again serve the community as a special place for many events.

—- Bottom Line —-

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