119 South Court Street

119 South Court Street

Many different businesses have been located in this building over its roughly 120-year history. The building itself is two stories and made of brick. It has two prominent arched window surrounds with keystones on the second story, and the first story features a large display window flanked by rusticated stone pilasters. 

Early Years

This building housed a tin shop as early as 1884. Ten years later it served as the warehouse for George Young’s furniture store. By 1889, it was a general store attached to George Young’s furniture store. A fire in 1914 destroyed the furniture store and the five buildings south of this structure. This building survived the fire and by the early 1920’s, it again housed a general store. Vogue Clothing store was located here in the 1930’s before the Florence City Electrical Department moved their offices there in the late 1940’s. During the 1950’s and early 60’s, the International Union of Operating Engineers local 320 and 660 located their offices in this building. Lee Optical operated here during the 60’s and 70’s before the Muscle Shoals Abstract Company located here in 1980.

Architecture

The building is typical of what is referred to as early twentieth century commercial style, a very popular genre of commercial buildings up to the 1920’s. The style used patterned masonry wall surfaces—like the limestone quoins at the buildings corners and the patterned brick in the building’s parapet—as the main decorative element. The large display window on the first story is another feature of this broad category of architecture. The distinctive architectural element on this building is the arched window surrounds, which suggests an Italianate influence.