“A long slow goodbye”…that’s how Lois Cortell, Senior Development Manager for the city, described the deconstruction of the Webber Building, also known as the Old Montgomery Theatre downtown.The deconstruction process has been ongoing for about a year now. Cortell says it’s not to be confused with demolition.”One of the conditions of the sale was to maximize the salvage of the materials and to do that really involved a slow deconstruction” she explained.
The Webber Building as it looked on May 5, 2015. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
After the deconstruction, ELSAJA Dexter is planning to try to save portions of the brick walls and is expected to include a plaza and information to recognize the building’s history.
“Because they are the owner of other buildings to be renovated downtown, they have a strong vested interest to carry through on their commitment to manage the deconstruction responsibility and to maximize the amount of salvageable materials from it,” McLeod said.
Workman install a beam to help keep the rest of the Webber building from collapsing in downtown Montgomery, Ala. on Saturday June 28, 2014.(Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)
“As far as public buildings go, I’d rank the historical significance of the Webber building right up there with the Capitol and the old Klein building. Montgomery Theater Building played a major role in Montgomery’s history,” said Mary Ann Neeley, former executive director of the Landmark Foundation. “There’s all sorts of connections there to that building so to lose it and to have the wall collapse was certainly devastating to many of us at that time and to lose the building itself.”