Clyde Carter House

300 Lime Kiln Rd., Ford City, Alabama

A rare example in northern Alabama of Spanish Eclectic architecture


Photo taken by J.R. Manning in March 2020




This Spanish Eclectic house, a rare example in northern Alabama, was part of a projected development boom inspired by Henry Ford. Ford had proposed buying the uncompleted Wilson Dam and two unfinished nitrate plants located in the Sheffield/Muscle Shoals area. The nitrate plants were built for a WWI need for nitrates to make ordnance. Ford, an avowed pacifist and champion of agrarian life, proposed to complete the plants to make fertilizer. Ford proposed a large, metropolitan area that would stretch 75 miles along the shore of the Tennessee River from Muscle Shoals to Huntsville.

Speculators began to buy up farmland and lay plans for subdivisions. One such plan was named Ford City, and the Carter House was one of the first spec homes to be built.

Henry Ford's grandiose plans never materialized as public outcry over private ownership of the Wilson Dam facilities versus public ownership. Ford pulled out and the planned metropolis never came to fruition.

Clyde Carter bought the spec house and surrounding land at auction, to settle liens against the developer. He finished the house and lived there while farming the surrounding land.

The following information came from the nomination to the NRHP.

"Nestled in an agrarian setting, the Clyde Carter House is a finely articulated example of a Spanish Eclectic cottage. Located in Ford City outside the North Alabama tri-city area that includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals and Sheffield, the Clyde Carter House is located on Lots 5 and 6, and the South Half of Lot No. 7 in what was originally called the Bernard Subdivision of Ford City. An interesting farmhouse, the dwelling sits amidst some 24 acres of farmland. Today it is a working farm as it has been for more than fifty years."

"Built in 1924, the Clyde Carter House is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places based on Criterion C in the area of architecture as an example of a Spanish Eclectic cottage. The style is rare in the North Alabama region and a modern anomaly of metropolitan life in its agrarian setting. The stucco-clad walls and its articulation emphasize its unique place as a farmhouse in northern Alabama."

Quotations from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared by Linda Ford, Preservation Consultant of Ford Consulting and Christy Anderson, AHC Reviewer of the Alabama Historical Commission, August 12. 2002. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 2, 2004
Reference number
NR name
Carter, Clyde, House
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Spanish Eclectic
Areas of significance
Agriculture; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Secondary structure; Agricultural fields
Current functions
Single dwelling; Secondary structure; Agricultural fields
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1924; 1930
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing sites: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1


20th Century (29,078)
Alabama (1,826)
Brick (42,466)
Built 1924 (725)
Built during 1920s (8,421)
Colbert County, Alabama (57)
Ford City, Alabama (1)
House (27,834)
Louis Bernard (1)
Natale Fortuna (1)
Private owner (54,402)
Stucco (7,816)
Terra cotta (3,922)

Update Log 

  • March 30, 2020: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • March 30, 2020: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added desription, and added photos