On This Day In Alabama History: The Atheneum School Opened In Birmingham

| October 7, 2019 @ 5:02 am

By Alabama NewsCenter Staff

The East Lake Atheneum was a private girls’ school chartered in 1890, built on a hillside and labeled the “Atheneum Eminence.”

The school was organized by Solomon Palmer, a state superintendent of education, with help from trustees of Howard College, which later became Samford University.

The school offered preparatory classes for young women. It opened on Oct. 7, 1928, with 180 students. The next year, there were fewer girls, but enrollment rebounded when, in late 1892, the large brick and stone, Romanesque-style main classroom and dormitory building were completed. The next fall, 212 girls attended. However, the 1893 financial panic – caused by the collapse of railroad financing that set off a series of bank failures – hit the school hard. The Atheneum closed temporarily.

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