Construction Update: 117 Clinton Avenue!

Downtown Huntsville is evolving day-by-day, and we are always excited to share some of the progress that’s happening behind closed doors.

In February, we announced that the historic 117 Clinton Avenue building would undergo a major renovation and transform into Clinton Row’s next retail or dining experience. Construction crews have been hard at work, and the property has already taken on a new look inside.

Several walls have been removed, opening up the space and setting the stage for a truly unique shop or restaurant. A new rustic vibe has been introduced with the exposure of brick walls. And any built-in shelves, desks, and other décor from the property’s days as an office are gone.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the transformation! There’s a lot of construction still on the way. Here are some before and after images of the project so far.

BEFORE.

AFTER.

BEFORE.

AFTER.

117 Clinton will be a unique, urban atmosphere for its next tenant and be situated near many of Downtown’s major hot spots like The Garage at Clinton Row, the Clinton Row Shops, The Avenue retail shops, and the recently announced 106 Jefferson: A Curio Collection by Hilton boutique hotel.

If you’re interested in leasing this incredible space, contact us by email at info@crunkletonassociates.com or call us at 256-536-8809. Find the listing for this property here.

Be sure to stay tuned to our blog as we share more updates on 117 Clinton!

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haley_squareHALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Historic Huntsville: The Hotel Twickenham

On an April afternoon in 1914, the City of Huntsville was at a standstill. The Daily Times headline read, “Fitting Exercises In Celebration ‘Breaking Dirt’ For New Hotel.” The article following relayed the names of several businesses that would close from 1:30-3 pm that day, and children praised the ceremony for helping end the school day at noon.

Crowds advanced to the city center and patiently waited for the festivities to begin. It was the official groundbreaking of the Hotel Twickenham and Huntsville had never seen such an elaborate spectacle.

At 2 pm, the nearby factories blew their whistles to welcome the hotel into existence. Brass bands boomed, crowds cheered, and a golden shovel—held by a Miss Elizabeth Cooper—officially broke ground.

The Hotel Twickenham claimed its title as the “Pride of Huntsville” during its heyday. An establishment steeped in elegance, Twickenham was the getaway of choice for dignitaries and traveling businessmen, and known as the venue where locals wined, dined, and enjoyed elaborate parties from 1915-1971.

Pictured: Groundbreaking ceremony of the Hotel Twickenham in 1914. Photo credit: Huntsville History Collection, The Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Huntsville Public Library Heritage Room

Its life on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Washington Street is one of glory, with stories that often involve the hotel’s famed manager Quincy B. Love. Adored by the community and hailed as one of the most active and progressive members of the town, his passing was greatly mourned.

Today, a municipal parking garage sits where the Hotel Twickenham once stood. But it is fondly remembered as “The Best American plan hotel in Alabama.”

Photo courtesy Huntsville Library Archives. Twickenham hotel (pictured left).

The Hotel Twickenham – “Pride Of Huntsville”

In many ways, the features of the Twickenham Hotel were firsts for Huntsville. Most notably, the hotel was advertised as being fireproof. This was important to many people at the time because fires at the nearby Huntsville Hotel devastated the community in both 1910 and 1911. Clearly, it was still at the forefront of Huntsvillians’ minds.

Creation of the hotel was headed by William F. Struve and Quincy B. Love who partnered to build it at the site of the old Huntsville City Hall.

“Bess Hay, William Struve’s niece, came up with the name ‘Twickenham’ for the hotel,” shared Donna Castellano, Executive Director of the Historic Huntsville Foundation. “The Clinton Avenue hotel had five stories, 80 rooms, and one elevator. And it opened with great fanfare in 1915 with a seated dinner for 200.”

“Never has there been a larger or more representative gathering in this city, for the response to invitations for the banquet was generous.” – The Times, March 11, 1915

Invitations to a grand opening banquet were sent out to the city and welcomed with much excitement. Hallways of the ornate hotel were decorated with bundles of flowers, and guests were treated to an exotic menu of green sea turtle, roast young turkey, and asparagus on toast.

Mr. Love spoke to guests and assured them that the hotel would run on a very high plane business plan. Music played softly in the background as the Florence Orchestra serenaded the room, and toasts were made to a bright future.

The Hotel’s Heyday

It was said that many traveling businessmen would arrange their itineraries around a stay at the Twickenham. Huntsville itself was a popular spot for hotel developments because it was situated between major trade routes. And the city’s scenic beauty even further convinced travelers to have their stopovers there.

For many years, the Twickenham was famous for its incredible service—no doubt thanks to Mr. Love—and delectable cuisine. Guests described the rooms as large, airy, light, and cheerful. They also appreciated the fair pricing when dining in at the establishment.

Twickenham, like many of the other early Huntsville hotels, offered auxiliary businesses like coffee shops, gift shops, pool halls, and a barbershop as well.

Parade down Clinton Avenue. Hotel Twickenham is pictured on the left. Photo credit: Huntsville History Collection, The Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Mary Medaris Burgess Lee

Under the attentive management of Love, the Hotel Twickenham won recognition as the “Best American plan hotel” in Alabama. And the sensation of the hotel showed no signs of stopping.

But in 1925, tragedy struck.

The Passing Of Mr. Love

“Death of Love Caused Sorrow,” was the headline of an article in the Times on June 8, 1925. Quincy B. Love passed away at 3 o’clock in the morning, and the city was devastated by the news.

Regarded as one of the most popular men in Huntsville, Love’s passing was observed as a “distinct community loss.”

According to the Times, “Mr. Love was perhaps the most popular hotel man in Alabama, especially with the traveling men. Nearly all of these knew him intimately, and the others who patronized him knew him but to love him.

Photo courtesy Huntsville Library archives.

“He came to Huntsville at a time when our city was practically without hotel facilities and built the magnificent Twickenham, standing as it does ‘The Pride of Huntsville.’”

Love was also remembered for his ability to bring together community leaders and create positive change. Described as a man who was “never satisfied with giving up,” he brought transformation to Huntsville that directed the city to where it is today.

The article closed with a final remark on Love’s success. “Whoever succeeds him there will find a standard of service that should never be lowered…He is gone now and we shall miss him. Peace be to his ashes and may the tender love and benediction of our Heavenly Father attend his loved ones and bless his memory.”

It was later reported that the auditorium at his funeral was full—a testament to the kind of man he was.

Fire insurance map that shows the Hotel Twickenham on Clinton Avenue. Courtesy Huntsville Library Archives.

A 1984 edition of The Historic Huntsville Quarterly of Local Architecture and Preservation stated “Mr. Love’s untimely death in 1925 dealt a blow to the Twickenham from which it never recovered. His wife managed it for a while, and then his son, Quincy, Jr., but never with his success.”

When the Russel Erskine was built in 1929, it created thriving competition for the existing Huntsville hotels. Although business at the Twickenham slowed down, it remained a popular venue for small parties and dances. Management of Twickenham was passed to different hands during its lifetime, but many still saw the hotel as a monument to Quincy B. Love.

Becoming The Clinton Avenue Garage

Although the hotel closed to guests in 1971, its popularity was briefly revived in 1974 when it served as a downtown senior center. The Fellowship Center, as it was called, transformed the old building into a place for seniors to enjoy dancing, laughing, and social gatherings.

Photo courtesy Huntsville Library archives.

Events at the Fellowship Center were many, and several took place in the Twickenham Hotel ballroom—including a Customs and Cultures luncheon in which people from other countries would bring food to share.

But as time went on, the space once again needed a new purpose. In 1975, the city council voted to build the Clinton Avenue parking garage on the site.

Photo courtesy Huntsville Library Archives.

On June 2, 1975, the hotel was demolished, along with other Clinton Avenue buildings to make way for the new city parking garage.

The Revitalization of Downtown Huntsville

Today, the Clinton Avenue parking garage has found new life with the addition of several retail shops to its ground floor. Now known as The Garage at Clinton Row, the development brought back several of the business services that were once offered near the Hotel Twickenham—a coffee shop, men’s wear, boutiques, and others.

The development for the Garage was completed in 2016 and celebrated with a grand opening party. Today, Clinton Avenue is a major retail destination for both local and regional shopping—and a place where locals spend time mingling.

As the City of Huntsville continues to grow, it’s incredible to look back at where we once were.

In the same spot, more than 100 years apart, Clinton Avenue was home to a grand opening celebration. Although the scenery has transformed, the love for our city and the hope for a better future hasn’t changed at all.

Do you have more information on the Hotel Twickenham? We always want to make sure we have the most accurate info. All information in this article is courtesy of the Huntsville Public Library archives. 

Contact Haley Clemons at haley@crunkletonassociates.com to add to this story. 

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haley_squareHALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

New “STOVEHOUSE” Development Coming Soon To West Huntsville!

Stovehouse Properties and Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group are proud to announce Huntsville’s newest development coming soon to west Huntsville. Introducing, STOVEHOUSE!

(Click here to view the official PRESS RELEASE.

The historic Martin Stove building, located at 3414 Governors Drive, will soon become the site of the city’s next large-scale food, office, events, and entertainment complex. A 200,000 square foot building situated on a 10-acre property, STOVEHOUSE will blur the line between modern and historical, work and play, and small-town culture and high-tech urban energy.

Owners of STOVEHOUSE, Danny and Patti Yancey, purchased the building in 2016 and plan to preserve its rich history while creating a new thriving mixed-use center in Westside Huntsville.

“STOVEHOUSE will fill the vacancy for an all-in-one entertainment, dining, and business hub in west Huntsville’s burgeoning arts, brewery, and cottage-living district,” said Danny. “We’re intentionally building this development to be a destination that nourishes the community.”

An example of office space at STOVEHOUSE.

STOVEHOUSE will be the home of Huntsville’s first permanent urban food garden. Along with chef-driven dining options, there will be a gourmet wine bar, specialty coffee bars, and ample flexible event spaces.

With multiple entertainment stages that will adjust to fit audiences of 100 for more intimate shows, and crowds of up to 2,000 for well-known acts in its multi-purpose hall, STOVEHOUSE will be suitable for business meetings, conferences, weddings, and similar uses.

“We will be bringing regular, curated concerts to a city that appreciates world-class culture,” said Danny. “As the project moves forward we will continue to release details on the entertainment and event aspects of STOVEHOUSE.”

But Huntsville won’t have to wait long to see this development’s progress.

“We’re excited to help bring this vision to life,” said Wesley Crunkleton, co-developer of STOVEHOUSE. “Its close proximity to downtown, I-565, and Redstone Arsenal will make it the ideal hub for businesses, first-to-Alabama restaurant concepts, new entertainment, and events. The project is already underway and Crunkleton will announce the first confirmed tenant very soon.”

Construction is underway at STOVEHOUSE!

The History of STOVEHOUSE

The Martin Stove building dates back to the 1920s and was home to both Rome and Martin stove companies. At the time, it employed thousands of people in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The building, whose original address was 901 Fifth Avenue West, was completed in 1929 as home to Rome Electric Range Company which billed itself as “The Only Electric Range Factory in the South.” Rome produced the successful “Electric Belle” stove before the building was purchased by Martin Stove in 1939.

Huntsville’s Martin Stamping and Stove grew to produce the most complete line of gas heaters on the American market, as well as in Canada and Mexico. During World War II, the plant manufactured bomb crates, grenade fuse cans, and reclaiming drums for the Ordnance Department. Martin closed its doors in 2001 and the location has been home to several businesses before the Yanceys purchased it for redevelopment in 2016.

Preserving the past was important to the team of experts and collaborators executing the development, so many of the property’s original features will be maintained and highlighted throughout STOVEHOUSE.

“When you’re here in the bones of the building, you see the marks of hard-working Westside Huntsville folks who sweated it out producing tangible goods, from stoves to materials for World War II,” said Danny. “I imagine they would have enjoyed having a place in the community to unwind. STOVEHOUSE is being designed to honor that kind of hard work and the leisure it earns.”

Stay tuned!

As the project moves forward we will continue to update you here on construction and what’s coming to STOVEHOUSE. You can also sign up for updates on the development’s official website at www.stovehouse.com.

For more information on leasing, visit the property page on our website.

Is there a concept you’d like to see at STOVEHOUSE? Comment below and let us know.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

The Evolution of 104 Jefferson

When searching for his next renovation project, Wesley Crunkleton, Principal at Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate, ended up finding a space that surprised him.

“When I was initially told about this property being a potential opportunity, I had a hard time identifying which property they were referring to,” he said. “When I walked over to Jefferson Street to check it out, I remember saying to myself that I didn’t think I’d ever realized the building was there. However, once I started walking through the space I saw a ton of potential.”

After finishing The Garage at Clinton Row, the 11,000 square foot mid-block building would soon become the site of Wesley’s next downtown real estate redevelopment.

The exterior of 104 Jefferson before renovations began.

The Plan

During the past few months, anyone walking downtown near Jefferson Street noticed the changes taking place at one of the block’s historic buildings. Although hidden behind a construction tent at times, the property was quickly becoming one of the city’s next modern office spaces.

“We had been looking at other opportunities for renovations downtown that didn’t work out at the time,” said Wesley. “The contractor I used for The Garage at Clinton Row put me in touch with the owners of 104 Jefferson and that’s when the project really took off.”

After a few months of deliberation and patience from all parties involved, everyone agreed to terms of the building’s purchase. A schedule of events was quickly put together.

“Our first order of business, after we had devised a plan for the property, was to make sure that the City of Huntsville Inspection and Fire Department were on board, as well,” he said.

“These older properties can be tricky because they were built during a period of time that either did not involve the inspection process or the process was vastly different from today. Both the Inspection and Fire Department can really be helpful on the front end with a project like this, and I would always recommend that anyone planning to undertake a downtown renovation get them involved early in the process.”

(Below are images of the property BEFORE the renovation.)

From January to July of this year, the look and feel of the property changed dramatically.

The Design: Modern Industrial

Although the building’s construction was completed in 1915, its interior design was frozen in time somewhere between the late 80s and early 90s.

“When I came across the space, everything was very retro,” explained Wesley. “Funky shapes, bold reds, and other dated elements were interspersed throughout the property. We knew there needed to be a significant amount of work done to uncover its true potential.”

104 Jefferson’s facelift was not a simple undertaking. Work began to expose brick walls and incorporate sleek glass, clean lines, and aesthetically pleasing paint colors. In fact, only two colors were used throughout the final product. The wooden doors you see today are made from the wooden rafters taken out of the second-floor ceiling.

“The goal was to make everything clean as possible,” he said. “We ended up using a dark tile with a dark grout that gives the lobby a slate or concrete finish look. The seamless glass entry doors in each suite are a hint to the modern, while the exposed brick gives it the industrial feel.”

(Here are images of 104 Jefferson AFTER the renovation.)

The character of the property began to take shape with the addition of exposed sprinkler pipes and artistic lighting fixtures. But its crowning jewel was something that received much attention from the community—a hidden mural that made its debut during the fourth day of chipping away at the lobby’s plaster.

The Discovery: A Message From The Past

 “Without a doubt, you need to remove the plaster. Take it off.”

This was the advice given to Wesley on a business trip to Chattanooga while visiting a contractor acquaintance who had tackled similar projects. Not wanting to begin a project that he couldn’t execute 100 percent, the encouragement was the push he needed to make the final design decision to uncover the wall beneath the old plaster.

“I already knew it was something that I wanted to do—expose the brick,” said Wesley. “And sure enough, we started chipping away and found yellows, greens, and blues. The old sign started to show itself. It was a welcomed surprise.”

After doing research, Wesley determined that the sign was for Bull Durham Tobacco. Co. and had been hidden for decades.

“It’s the same tobacco company whose factory was operational in the mid-1900s but burned down in North Carolina where the company was based,” he said. “We thought the connection to the past would be a wonderful feature to the building that would add personality and interest its visitors.”

The Modern Office Space: Where Is It Headed?

It’s impossible to ignore the changes in the look, feel, and function of 104 Jefferson. In an effort to keep pace with the transformations in today’s office settings, the space was built to encourage collaboration, creative team building, and successful project execution.

“Simply put, offices are headed to less of an office feel,” clarified Wesley. “Offices are becoming a place that you not only work but hang out, as well. The days of squeezing into a tiny conference room and exhausting yourself over a whiteboard are gone. Now, business might be done over a game of pool in the back lounge where people brainstorm.”

The Environment: Downtown Huntsville

Businesses are flocking to the downtown area in order to take advantage of the off-site meeting spaces, like coffee shops and bars, in order to recruit new hires and take a mental break from the daily grind.

Exterior of 104 Jefferson after the renovations.

Current tenants at 104 Jefferson include KPS Group and Prime Lending, which moved in after the renovations were completed to the ground floor.

“It really is more about your office dynamic rather than what downtown provides as an office setting,” he said. “For instance, Prime Lending moved its business from South Parkway. The ability to walk out the door and go have a drink or shop at The Garage at Clinton Row helps them utilize downtown as a built-in recruiting tool.”

The Reward: A Completed Project

“One of the most gratifying parts of any project is when people are pleased with what you’ve done to their property,” beamed Wesley. “The seller of the site found me after the renovation was complete and said they were very happy with the way it turned out. It’s a great feeling, and we are very thankful at how patient and supportive they have been throughout the process. It was truly a team effort. Everyone involved has been incredible.”

Next time you are exploring Downtown Huntsville, take a moment to stop and look at one of Huntsville’s newest office spaces that combines the present with the past. It very well could be the perfect spot for your business.

 To learn more about 104 Jefferson, click here.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM