Friday, June 20, 2008

Cash, Clothes, then Calzones

This cool old Tuscaloosa building has a crest at the top that says 1871. It was originally the First National Bank and is on the corner of University Blvd and 23rd Street.
When I was a kid, it was "Adrian's", a ladies' clothing shop. I remember it had an elevator, which of course we thought was amazing. "Adrian's" was spelled out in the tiles at the front door. I think they're still there. I'll have to check and take a picture.

Adrian's had the 'nunsuch shop' for teens and a teen board of local girls who modeled their clothes. It was a big deal to be on the teen board.

When I was a teenager, this and other downtown stores moved into the mall. Later, Adrian's moved to the Tuscaloosa Galleria. I think they finally went out of business after the owner died. This building is now an Italian eatery called DePalma's. They have delicious calzones and the great atmosphere that only a cool old building can provide!

Article about Downtown Businesses History including Adrian's.


Dan said...

Welcome to the CDPB world! Love the pics. Is Tuscaloosa trying to encourage the growth of the downtown area? It seems as if several cities, my own included, are making major efforts to preserve and renovate the downtowns and turn them into thriving centers of commerce.

D said...

Hi Dan and thanks for stopping by.
Yes, Tuscaloosa is in the process of a Downtown Revitalization, courtesy of Senator Richard Shelby and federal earmarks. This process included purchasing and demolishing 4 blocks of "blighted" properties. Some of those were family businesses that had been around for over 50 years. When all is said and done, we'll have a new federal courthouse, parking facility, and greenspace. Not sure that qualifies as a thriving center of commerce, but maybe it will help keep downtown alive. Check back for other pictures of the process and progress.

Rambling Round said...

Wow! We shopped at Adrians too, especially before the malls opened. The teen section was great.

Anonymous said...

I love Adrians I was a member of the teen board in the late 70's