Alabama Girls' Industrial School

Bounded by Middle Campus Dr., Oak, Bloch and Middle Sts., Montevallo, Alabama

A women-only technical school that also offered high school-level courses.



The University of Montevallo opened in October 1896 as the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School (AGIS), a women-only technical school that also offered high school-level courses. AGIS became the Alabama Girls’ Technical Institute in 1911, further adding "and College for Women" in 1919. The school gradually phased into being a traditional degree-granting institution, becoming Alabama College, State College for Women in 1923.

The school's supporters lobbied the Alabama Legislature which passed a bill on January 15, 1956 that dropped the designation "State College for Women", effectively making the school coeducational ( though its student body still maintains a 7:5 ratio of women to men). The first men entered the school that same month. In 1965, the board of trustees authorized President D. P. Culp to sign the Certificates of Assurance of Compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[2] In the fall of 1968, three African American women, Carolyn Buprop, Ruby Kennbrew, and Dorothy (Lilly) Turner, enrolled in the university. On September 1, 1969, Alabama College was renamed the University of Montevallo.

Montevallo is located in the geographic center of the state of Alabama in an area rich with Civil War history. With slightly over 3,000 students, the university generates a significant economic impact on the surrounding communities in Shelby County.

Many of the buildings on campus predate the founding of the college, including King House and Reynolds Hall. The King House is reserved for special guests of the campus, and Reynolds Hall is still used by the Theater Department and alumni relations. King House was reportedly the first home in Alabama to receive pane glass windows.

Montevallo's campus is considered an architectural jewel. Its appearance is more in line with private, elite institutions. The central part of campus is a National Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main portion of the campus was designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm, who also designed the Biltmore House grounds in North Carolina. Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park in New York.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 11, 1978
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Colonial Revival; Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival; Federal
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874
Significant years
1851; 1896; 1923
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 11
Contributing structures: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 2
Non-contributing structures: 2

Update Log 

  • May 23, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added Description