The Harmony Club was originally built in 1909 and was operated as a social club by the Jewish community of Selma, Alabama. It is situated on a high bank that overlooks the Alabama River. The project was then headed by B.J. Schuster, a prominent merchant and later the President of the Harmony Men’s Club. The 20,000 square foot layout of the Harmony Club was given use according to the floor; the first floor operated as two retail spaces, the second floor was a restaurant up front and a Men’s Lounge in the back. The Men’s Lounge was off limits to the public back then; it had a pool table, poker games, slot machines, cigar chomping and of course the wives were never allowed, nonetheless “ladies” were occasionally allowed. The third floor operated as a ballroom that over the decades experienced many dances and parties. The club functioned for several years non-stop till in the late 1930’s it turned into the Elks Club, where it eventually disbanded in the 1960’s and the building boarded up.
For nearly forty years the building sat quiescent till one day David Hurlbut bought it in 1999.
David Hurlbut who works as an industrial designer and an architectural consultant It took him nearly two years to make Harmony Club a “remotely habitable by most people’s standards”. So far, ten years down the road he spent nearly $150,000 and has taken great care to preserve the architectural details.
all photos © Robert Rausch of GAS Design Center.