McAdory High School

McCalla, Alabama
Jefferson County Board of Education Completed 2006

Originally designed in 1937 by Charles Davis of E.B. Van Keuren (Davis Architect’s predecessor) and built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration, McAdory High School has long been a pillar of the community. That fact, and the distinctiveness of the Art Moderne /Art Deco design not only guided the restoration and expansion of the building but also brought the client to the Davis firm and specifically to Neil Davis, son of the original designer.  The design objective was to restore the original school building while seamlessly adding three additional program elements. The original building was completely gutted, but since it was constructed almost entirely out of cast-in-place concrete, the original decorative architectural elements were left intact. To achieve the same exterior appearance as that of the existing building, the new building was constructed with load bearing concrete block and stucco veneer, and the original art deco detailing was reproduced on the new additions. A prominent main entrance was also added and the original gymnasium was converted into a state-of-the-art, 650-seat Performing Arts Center with the old gymnasium floor (the only wood structure in the entire building) replaced by a sloped concrete floor. Acoustical elements were added to provide for high school plays and band concerts and the original glass block façade was recreated at the Auditorium entry. The new competition gymnasium and eight-classroom addition repeated the Art Moderne /Art Deco aesthetic.