About Downtown Montgomery
Incorporated in 1819 as the merger of Alabama Town and New Philadelphia, Montgomery has served as the state capital of Alabama since 1846. Situated along the Alabama River, the city was named after Revolutionary War general Richard Montgomery. The first capital of the Confederate States of America, Montgomery emerged as a centralized location for enslaved traders to deliver enslaved to planters to work and ship cotton in Alabama. Montgomery became a major center of protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches during the 1950s and 60s.
In recent decades, the city has become one of the first in the nation to implement SmartCode Zoning and its downtown has become nationally recognized for its revitalization efforts around projects linked to its Civil Rights history. Now the second most populous city in the state, Mongtomery is home to 200,603 residents (2020 census) and 386,047 residents living within its Metropolitan Statistical Area.
A virtual walk through Downtown Montgomery
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is a museum that was established by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in 2018. In 2021, the museum moved into a $20 million, 47,000 square foot space raised from private donations and charitable foundations. The museum focuses on the history of slavery and racism in American. Supporting uses include a gift shop, a café, and a soul food restaurant called Pannie-George’s Kitchen.
Legacy Plaza is a 2.5-acre outdoor park that the EJI opened adjacent to the Legacy Museum in September 2022. The intent of Legacy Plaza is to be a gathering space where visitors can reflect on their experience at the museum.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in 2018 at 417 Caroline Street on a six-acre site overlooking Montgomery. Acknowledging the victims of racial terror lynchings, the national memorial is a sacred space for truth-telling and reflection about racial terror in America and its legacy.
Anchored by the Amphitheatre, the Harriott II Riverboat, and the historic Union Station Train Shed, Riverfront Park is an entertainment destination on the banks of the Alabama River. Riverboat rides, events, and concerts make this park a fun and exciting place for people of all ages. Riverfront Park is located at 355 Commerce Street.
The Montgomery Union Station and Trainshed at 210 Water Street was built in 1898 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. A National Historic Landmark since 1976, passenger rail service ceased in 1979.
Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium is a 7,000 seat minor league baseball ballpart that opened on Tallapoosa Street in 2004. Home to the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League, a portion of the stadium is a converted century-old train shed.
The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Montgomery Downtown at 152 Coosa Street, opened in September 2019. The $14 million, 105-room hotel is located in a warehouse built in 1905 by Schloss-Kahn Wholesale Grocers. Tourism has surged in Downtown Mongtomery due to the opening of The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
The Trilogy Hotel Montgomery Autograph Collection at 108 Coosa Street. Two early 20th century warehouses and a Greek revival mansion built in 1851 make up the 117-room hotel property. The warehouses were the offices of the Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board for several decades.
117-129 Coosa Street was built in 1895 for the Schloss & Kahn Wholesale Grocers.
“The Alley” is an entertainment district in the heart of downtown, centered around an alley that connects Commerce and Tallapoosa Streets. The entertainment district is anchored by the Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium and Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. The entertainment district was established in 2010. The entertainment district ordinance allows poeple to walk around with open containers of alcohol on public right-of-way.
The Lower Commerce Street Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The historic heart of Montgomery’s business district, Commerce Street was central to the operation of Montgomery’s slave trade prior to the civil war. During that time, enslaved people were marched in chains along the street from the Alabama River to enslaved auction sites and depots.
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center at 201 Tallapoosa Street. The completion of a 112,000-square-foot space in 2007 at the hotel and the convention center, has encouraged growth and activity in the downtown area and attracted more high-end retail and restaurants.