Visit this historic house to see displays of period furniture and elaborate architectural designs that provide a peek into 19th-century life in Tuscaloosa.
The Battle-Friedman House and Gardens is one of Tuscaloosa’s many 19th-century architectural masterpieces. Admire a range of architectural styles, spot period furniture and decorations, and learn about the life of the house’s residents.
Built in 1835, the house and gardens originally covered a whole block of what used to be Tuscaloosa’s main residential street. Bernard Friedman, a local businessman and Hungarian immigrant, purchased the house in 1875. It remained a Friedman family residence until 1965 and during their ownership the family hosted the well-known American poet Robert Loveman and Virginia Tunstall Clay-Clopton, author of A Belle of the Fifties.
Those with an interest in architecture will appreciate the house’s grand front porch, dominated by six paneled-square columns. This is a style typical of pre-Civil War architecture in Tuscaloosa. The house’s stucco and brick facade is painted to resemble red marble.
Inside, a range of architectural styles adorn the walls and ceilings of the halls and salons. Most notable are the friezes added by the Friedman family towards the end of the 1800s. As you walk between the various rooms, a varied collection of period furniture provides a glimpse into early 19th-century residential life in Tuscaloosa. Look for Renaissance Revival chairs, beds and dressing tables plus sparkling chandeliers and portraits of former residents.
Outside, the house’s garden is one of the only remaining antebellum gardens in the Alabama state. Photography enthusiast will enjoy taking shots of the garden’s gazebo, surrounded by green spaces and colorful flowerbeds. While visiting the house and gardens it’s often possible to see wedding ceremonies taking place.
The Battle-Friedman House and Gardens is a short walk from Tuscaloosa’s downtown district. There is free on-site parking and free parking on the surrounding streets. Within a 5-minute walk from the house you’ll find other major Tuscaloosa attractions. These include the Murphy African American Museum and the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion.
The house and gardens are open from Tuesday to Saturday. Visit the house’s official website for the complete opening hours. There’s an admission fee for adults, and entry is free for visitors under 12 years of age .