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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Huntsville
—  City  —
Nickname(s): "Rocket City"
Coordinates: 34°42′49″N 86°35′10″W / 34.71361°N 86.58611°W / 34.71361; -86.58611
Country United States
State Alabama
Counties Madison, Limestone
Government
 - Type Mayor-council
 - Mayor Tommy Battle
Area
 - City 210 sq mi (543.9 km2)
 - Land 209.6 sq mi (542.86 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 600 ft (193 m)
Population (2006)[1]
 - City 176,645
 Density 963.8/sq mi (372.14/km2)
 Metro 395,645
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 35800–35899
Area code(s) 256
FIPS code 01-37000
GNIS feature ID 0151827
Website http://www.hsvcity.com/

Huntsville is a city centrally located in the northernmost part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is located in Madison County and extends west into neighboring Limestone county. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County,[2] and the fourth-largest city in Alabama. The 2000 census estimated Huntsville's population at 158,216, while in 2008, the estimated population grew to 176,645. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was estimated at 395,645.[1] Huntsville is the largest city in the four-county Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, which in 2008 had a total population of 545,770.

John Hunt first settled in the location in 1805. It was named Twickenham after Alexander Pope's English home at the request of LeRoy Pope.[3] However, the town was renamed "Huntsville" on November 25, 1811 after its first settler. It has grown across nearby hills and along the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, to become a major city, including NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.[4]

Contents

History

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First settlers

Huntsville is named after Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt, the first settler of the land around the Big Spring. However, Hunt did not properly register his claim, and the area was purchased by Leroy Pope, who imposed the name Twickenham on the area to honor the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.

Twickenham was carefully planned, with streets laid out on the northeast to southwest direction based on the Big Spring (see images below). However, due to anti-English sentiment during the War of 1812, the name was changed to Huntsville to honor John Hunt, who had been forced to move to other land south of the new city.

Both John Hunt and Leroy Pope were Freemasons and charter members of Helion Lodge #1.[5]

Incorporation 1811

In 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated town in Alabama. However, the recognized "birth" year of the city is 1805, the year of John Hunt's arrival. The city's sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955 and the bicentennial was celebrated in 2005.

Emerging industries

Huntsville's quick growth was from wealth generated by the cotton and railroad industries. Many wealthy planters moved into the area from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen's large cabinetmaking shop. The forty-four delegates meeting there wrote a constitution for the new state of Alabama. In accordance with the new state constitution, Huntsville became Alabama's first capital when the state was admitted to the Union. This was a temporary designation for one legislative session only, and the capital was then moved to another temporary location, Cahawba, until the legislature selected a permanent capital. (Today, the capital is Montgomery.)

In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was constructed through Huntsville, becoming the first railway to link the Atlantic seacoast with the lower Mississippi River.

Civil War

Bird's Eye View of 1871 Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville initially opposed secession from the Union in 1861, but provided many men for the state's defense. The 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, led by Col. Egbert J. Jones of Huntsville, distinguished itself at the Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, the first major encounter of the American Civil War. The Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war and were present when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox in April 1865. Eight generals of the war were born in or near Huntsville, evenly split with four on each side.

On the morning of April 11, 1862, Union troops led by General Ormsby M. Mitchel seized Huntsville to sever the Confederacy's rail communications. The Union troops were forced to retreat some months later, but returned to Huntsville in the fall of 1863 and thereafter used the city as a base of operations for the remainder of the war. While many homes and villages in the surrounding countryside were burned in retaliation for the active guerrilla warfare in the area, Huntsville itself was spared because it housed elements of the Union Army.

Child workers at Merrimac Mills in Huntsville, November 1910. Photographed by Lewis Hine.

After the Civil War

After the Civil War, Huntsville became a center for cotton textile mills, such as Lincoln, Dallas and Merrimack. Each mill had its own housing community that included everything the mill workers needed (schools, churches, grocery stores, theatres, and hardware stores, all within walking distance of the mill).

Great Depression 1930s

During the 1930s, industry declined in Huntsville due to the Great Depression. Huntsville became known as the Watercress Capital of the World[6] because of its abundant harvest in the area. Madison County led Alabama in cotton production during this time.[6]

World War II

By 1940, Huntsville was still a small quiet town with a population of only 13,150 inhabitants. This quickly changed at the onset of World War II, when Huntsville was chosen as the location of Huntsville Arsenal, with chemical and munitions manufacturing plants.[7] The Arsenal was almost closed in 1949 when it was no longer needed,[8] but it saw new life when Major General Holger Toftoy with support from Senator John Sparkman convinced the U.S. Army to choose Huntsville as the location for its missile research program. In 1950, General Toftoy brought German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and his colleagues to Redstone Arsenal to develop what would eventually become the United States' space program.

Space flight

Historic rockets in Rocket Park of the US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama

On September 8, 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. (NASA had already activated this facility, which is located on Redstone Arsenal, on July 1 of that year.)

The city is nicknamed "The Rocket City" for its close history with U.S. space missions. Huntsville has been important in developing space technology since the 1950s, when the German scientists headed by Dr. Wernher von Braun, brought to the United States at the end of World War II through Operation Paperclip, arrived to develop rocketry for the U.S. Army. Their work included designing the Redstone ballistic missile, a variant of which, the Juno I, carried the first U.S. satellite and astronauts into space.

The Saturn V, used by the Apollo program manned Moon missions, was developed at Redstone Arsenal. Huntsville continues to play an important role in the United States' Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs. It is estimated that 1 in 13 of Huntsville's population are employed in some engineering field of work.[citation needed]

Huntsville's economy was nearly crippled and growth came to a near standstill in the 1970s following the closure of the Apollo program, but the emergence of the Space Shuttle and the ever-expanding field of missile defense in the 1980s helped give Huntsville a resurgence that continues to this day. The city remains to the center of rocket-propulsion research in the United States, and is home to large branches of many defense contractors. Huntsville is also the location of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM).

Geography

Big Spring International Park

Huntsville is located at 34°42′N 86°35′W / 34.7°N 86.583°W / 34.7; -86.583 (34.7, -86.6).[9] The city has a total area of 202 square miles (520 km2).[10] Recent annexations have moved Huntsville's area into Limestone County a total of 21.5 square miles (56 km2), or 13,885 acres (5,619 ha).[11]

The Big Spring, basis of street plan in Twickenham (renamed in 1812 to "Huntsville").

Huntsville is located in the Tennessee River valley. Several plateaus and large hills partially surround the city. These plateaus are associated with the Cumberland Plateau, and are locally called "mountains". Monte Sano Mountain (Italian for "Healthy Mount") is the most notable, and is east of the city along with Round Top (Burritt), Chapman, Huntsville, and Green Mountains. Others are Wade Mountain to the north, Rainbow Mountain to the west, and Weeden and Madkin Mountains on Redstone Arsenal in the south. Brindlee Mountain is visible in the south across the Tennessee River.

As with other areas along the Cumberland Plateau, the land around Huntsville is karst in nature. The city was founded around the Big Spring, which is a typical karst spring, and many caves perforate the limestone bedrock underneath the surface, as is common in karst areas. The headquarters of the National Speleological Society are located in Huntsville.

Climate

Huntsville has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). It experiences hot, humid summers and generally mild winters, with average high temperatures ranging from 89.0 °F (31.7 °C) in the summer to 49.0 °F (9.4 °C) during winter.

Some years, Huntsville experiences tornadoes during the spring and fall. Significant tornado events include the Super Outbreak in 1974, the November 1989 Tornado Outbreak that killed 21 and injured almost 500, and the Anderson Hills Tornado that killed one and caused extensive damage in 1995. On January 21, 2010, Huntsville experienced a rare mid-winter tornado. It registered EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale scale.[12] The tornado did localized moderate damage to some homes and businesses, but most notably was very widely photographed and videotaped due to its development during evening rush hour traffic right over the city where local television stations and cell-phone equipped drivers were able to capture its image and movement.

Since Huntsville is nearly 300 miles (480 km) inland, hurricanes are rarely experienced with their full force; however, many weakened tropical storms cross the area after a U.S. Gulf Coast landfall. While most winters have some measurable snow, significant snow is rare in Huntsville; but there have been some anomalies, like the 1963 New Year's Eve snowstorm, when 17 inches (43 cm) fell within 24 hours. Likewise, the Blizzard of 1993 and a Groundhog Day snowstorm in 1996 were substantial winter events for Huntsville. However, as of the winter of 2008-09, Huntsville has gone 13 years without any significant snowfall (>4 inches).

Climate data for Huntsville, Alabama
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 48.9
(9.4)
54.6
(12.6)
63.4
(17.4)
72.3
(22.4)
79.6
(26.4)
86.5
(30.3)
89.4
(31.9)
89.0
(31.7)
83.0
(28.3)
72.9
(22.7)
61.6
(16.4)
52.4
(11.3)
71.1
(21.7)
Average low °F (°C) 30.7
(-0.7)
34.0
(1.1)
41.2
(5.1)
48.4
(9.1)
57.5
(14.2)
65.4
(18.6)
69.5
(20.8)
68.1
(20.1)
61.7
(16.5)
49.6
(9.8)
40.7
(4.8)
33.8
(1)
50.1
(10.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.52
(140.2)
4.95
(125.7)
6.68
(169.7)
4.54
(115.3)
5.24
(133.1)
4.22
(107.2)
4.40
(111.8)
3.32
(84.3)
4.29
(109)
3.54
(89.9)
5.22
(132.6)
5.59
(142)
57.51
(1,460.8)
Source: NOAA [13]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 2,863
1860 3,634 26.9%
1870 4,907 35.0%
1880 4,977 1.4%
1890 7,995 60.6%
1900 8,068 0.9%
1910 7,611 −5.7%
1920 8,018 5.3%
1930 11,544 44.0%
1940 13,050 13.0%
1950 16,437 26.0%
1960 72,365 340.3%
1970 139,282 92.5%
1980 142,513 2.3%
1990 159,789 12.1%
2000 158,216 −1.0%
Est. 2008 171,327 8.3%

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 158,216 people, 66,742 households, and 41,713 families residing in the city. The population density was 909.0 people per square mile (351.0/km²). There were 73,670 housing units at an average density of 423.3/sq mi (163.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.47% White, 30.21% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 2.22% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.04% of the population.

There were 66,742 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.91. Same-sex couple households comprised 0.5 % of all househoulds.[15]

Demographic distribution

Age <18 18-24 25-44 45-64 65+
Distribution % 23.1 10.7 29.3 23.4 13.4

Sex ratio & income distribution

Median Age 37
Sex Ratio F:M 100:92.8
Sex Ratio age 18+ F:M 100:89.7
Median Income US$41,074
Family Median Income $52,202
Male Median Income $40,003
Female Median Income $26,085
Per capita Income $24,015
Percent Below poverty 12.8
Age < 18 Below Poverty 18.7
Age 65+ Below Poverty 9.0

Politics and government

Huntsville's Administration Building, also known as City Hall

The current mayor of Huntsville is Tommy Battle, who was elected in 2008. The Deputy Mayor/City Administrator is Rex Reynolds, who also serves as the city's Public Safety Director. The city has a five-member/district City Council. The current members are:

  • District 1 (Northwest): Richard Showers, Sr.
  • District 2 (East): Mark Russell (President)
  • District 3 (Southeast): Sandra Moon
  • District 4 (Southwest): Bill Kling
  • District 5 (West): Will Culver.

Council elections are "staggered", meaning that Districts 2, 3, and 4 will have elections in August 2010, while Districts 1 and 5 will have elections simultaneously with mayoral elections in 2012.

There are also many boards and commissions run by the city, controlling everything from schools and planning to museums and downtown development.

In July 2007 then Senator Barack Obama held the first fund raiser in Alabama for his Presidential campaign in Huntsville. Obama ended up winning the Alabama Democratic Primary and Madison County by large margins in 2008.

See also: List of mayors of Huntsville, Alabama

Public Safety

In 2007, Mayor Loretta Spencer combined the police, fire, and animal services departments to create the Department of Public Safety.[16] The former chief of police was appointed as its director. The new department has nearly 900 employees and an annual budget of $63 million.

Fire

The Huntsville Fire Department[17] has 19 engine companies, 4 ladder/rescue companies, and 2 hazardous materials companies located in 17 stations throughout the city of Huntsville. Many Huntsville firefighters are also members of the regional Hazardous Materials and Heavy Rescue[18] response teams. The day-to-day operations of the department are currently carried out by the department's Fire Chief.

Police

The Huntsville Police Department[19] has 3 precincts and 1 downtown HQ, 360 sworn officers, 150 civilian personnel, and patrols an area of 194.7+ square miles (this number has grown due to recent annexations).

Police Academy

The Huntsville Police Academy[20] is one of the oldest police academies in the United States.[citation needed] As of 2009, the academy has graduated 50 basic classes and 47 lateral ones.

Economy

Huntsville's main economic influence is derived from aerospace and military technology. Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park (CRP), and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center comprise the main hubs for the area's technology-driven economy. CRP is the second largest research park in the United States and the fourth largest in the world, and is over 38 years old. Huntsville is also home for commercial technology companies such as the network access company ADTRAN, computer graphics company Intergraph and design and manufacturer of IT infrastructure Avocent. Telecommunications provider Deltacom, Inc. and copper tube manufacturer and distributor Wolverine Tube are also based in Huntsville. Cinram manufactures and distributes 20th Century Fox DVDs and Blu-ray Discs out of their Huntsville plant. Sanmina-SCI also has a large presence in the area. Forty-two Fortune 500 companies have operations in Huntsville.

In 2005, Forbes Magazine named the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area as 6th best place in the nation for doing business, and number one in terms of the number of engineers per total employment. In 2006, Huntsville dropped to 14th; the prevalence of engineers was not considered in the 2006 ranking.

Retail

There are several strip malls and shopping malls throughout the city. Huntsville has two enclosed malls—Madison Square Mall, built in 1984, and Parkway Place, built in 2002 on the site of the former Parkway City Mall. The city also has a lifestyle center called Bridge Street Town Centre, completed in 2007, in Cummings Research Park. Another mixed-use center is under construction on the former site of the Heart of Huntsville Mall. It is to be called Constellation with a scheduled completion of the first buildings in 2011.[21]

Infrastructure

Transportation

Huntsville is served by several U.S. Highways, including 72, 231, 431 and an Interstate highway spur, I-565, that links the two cities of Huntsville and Decatur to I-65. Alabama Highway 53 also connects the city with I-65 in Ardmore, Tennessee.

Public transit

Public transit in Huntsville is run by the city's Department of Parking and Public Transit.[22] The Huntsville Shuttle runs 11 fixed routes throughout the city, mainly around downtown and major shopping areas like Memorial Parkway and University Drive and has recently expanded some of the buses to include bike racks on the front for a trial program. There is also a Tourist Trolley that makes stops at tourist attractions and shopping centers. The city also runs HandiRide, a demand-response transit system for the handicapped, and RideShare, a county-wide carpooling program.

Railroads

Huntsville has two active commercial rail lines. The mainline is run by Norfolk Southern, which runs from Memphis, TN to Chattanooga. The original depot for this rail line, the Huntsville Depot still exists, though it no longer offers passenger service.

Another rail line, formerly part of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, successor to the Nashville, Chattanooga and Saint Louis Railroad, is being operated by HMCRA (Huntsville-Madison County Railroad Authority). The line connects to the Norfolk Southern line downtown and runs 13 miles (21 km) South, passing near Ditto Landing on the Tennessee River, and terminating at Norton Switch, near Hobbs Island. This service, in continuous operation since 1894, presently hauls freight and provides transloading facilities at its downtown depot location. Until the mid-fifties, L & N provided freight and passenger service to Guntersville and points South. The rail cars were loaded onto barges at Hobbs Island. The barge tows were taken through the Guntersville Dam & Locks and discharged at Port Guntersville. Remnants of the track supporting piers still remain in the river just upstream from Hobbs Island. The service ran twice daily. L & N abandoned the line in 1984 at which time it was acquired by the newly-created HMCRA, a State Agency.

The North Alabama Railroad Museum in Chase maintains a line once owned by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N). The museum runs weekend tourist rides along a short track in Northeast Madison County. The origin of these rides was once the smallest Union Station in the United States when it served the predecessor to L&N and the predecessor to the Norfolk and Western Railroad.[citation needed]

Utilities

Electricity, water, and natural gas are all provided in Huntsville by Huntsville Utilities[23] (HU). HU purchases and resells power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA has two plants that provide electricity to the Huntsville area- Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Limestone County and Guntersville Dam in Marshall County. A third, Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Jackson County, was built in the 1980s but was never activated. Due to the rapid growth of the region, TVA has plans to eventually activate the plant.[24]

Telephone service in Huntsville is provided by Deltacom, Inc. , AT&T, Knology and Comcast . Huntsville has 2 cable providers in the city limits: Comcast and Knology (Mediacom in rural outlying areas). Parts of Madison and Huntsville are long distance to themselves (in Limestone county areas) as AT&T has not kept pace with growth in the region.[25]

Ports

The inland Port of Huntsville combines the Huntsville International Airport, International Intermodal Center, and Jetplex Industrial Park. The intermodal terminal transfers truck and train cargo. The port has on-site U.S. Customs and USDA inspectors and is Foreign Trade Zone No. 83.

Air service

Huntsville International Airport is served by several regional and national carriers (including Delta, Northwest, US Airways, Continental, United, and American) and offers non-stop flights to many airports across the Eastern U.S. However, Huntsville International gets its name because of its reputation as a cargo transport hub. Many delivery companies have hubs in Huntsville, making delivery flights to Europe, Asia, and Mexico.[25]

Media and communications

Newspapers

The Huntsville Times has been Huntsville's only daily newspaper since 1996, when the Huntsville News closed. Before then, the News was the morning paper, and the Times was the afternoon paper until 2004. The Huntsville Times has a weekday circulation of 60,000, which rises to 80,000 on Sundays.

A few alternative newspapers are available in Huntsville. The Valley Planet covers arts and entertainment in the Tennessee Valley area. The Redstone Rocket is a newspaper distributed throughout Redstone Arsenal's housing area covering activities on Redstone. Speakin' Out News is a weekly newspaper focused on African Americans. El Reportero is a Spanish-language newspaper for North Alabama.

Radio

Huntsville is the 113th largest radio market in the United States.[26] Huntsville's National Weather Service forecast and warning station broadcasts as KIH20. Huntsville also receives several radio stations from Birmingham and Nashville.

Television

The Huntsville DMA serves 15 counties in North Alabama and 6 counties in Southern Middle Tennessee.

TV Stations:

Movie theaters

There are 6 movie theaters located in Huntsville. They are:

Feature films shot in Huntsville

A few feature films have been shot in Huntsville, including 20 years After[27] (2008 originally named Like Moles, Like Rats in 2006),[28] Air Band (2005),[29] and Constellation (2005).[30] Portions of the film SpaceCamp (1986) were filmed at Huntsville's U.S. Space and Rocket Center at the eponymous facility. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center stood in for NASA in the 1989 movie Beyond the Stars starring Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, and Sharon Stone. Parts of Tom and Huck (1995) were filmed in Cathedral Caverns, located on the outskirts of Huntsville. Following in the motif of the "Rocket City," Columbia Pictures filmed Ravagers (1979) in The Land Trust's Historic Three Caves Quarry, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and on location at an antebellum home located next door to Lee High School. This cult classic starred Richard Harris, Ernest Borgnine, Ann Turkel, Art Carney and Cecily Hovanes.

Huntsville's legacy in the space program continues to draw film producers looking for background material for space-themed films. During the pre-production of the film Apollo 13 (1995), the cast and crew spent time at Space Camp and Marshall Space Flight Center preparing for their roles. Space Camp also garnered a mention in the film Stranger than Fiction and was featured in a 2008 episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! on NASA.

Education

K–12 education

The majority of K–12 students in Huntsville attend Huntsville City Schools.[31] In the 2007–2008 school year 22,839 students attended Huntsville City Schools, 77% of all students scored at or above state and national ACT averages, and of the 1279 members of the graduating class, "approximately 92% of the students indicated that they planned to enter a post-secondary institution for further study, 43% obtained scholarship & monetary awards," and "received 2,988 scholarships totaling $33,619,040, had forty-one National Merit Scholars, three National Achievement Scholars, and two perfect ACT scores."[32]

Of the 53 schools in the Huntsville City Schools system in 2007–2008, there were:[32]

  • 25 elementary, and
  • Two K–8, which serve 10,836 students.

For grades 6–12, there are 11,696 students enrolled in the following schools:

  • Ten middle schools (grades 6–8)
  • Seven high schools
  • Three special centers (two Schools of Choice and one Program of Choice [1B])
  • Four magnet schools (two with grades K–8 and two with grades 9–12)

Of every dollar spent, 54¢ goes to instructional services, 15¢ to instructional support services, 11¢ to operation & maintenance, 8¢ to capital outlay, 7¢ to auxiliary services, 3¢ to general administrative services, 2¢ to debt and other expenditures.[32] 60% of HCS teachers have at least a master's degree or better.[32]

The two magnet elementary schools are the Academy for Academics and Arts and the Academy for Science and Foreign Language. The three magnet middle schools are Williams Technology, The Academy for Academics and Arts, and the Academy for Science and Foreign Language, and the two magnet high schools are New Century Technology High School and Lee High School.

There are approximately 21 private, parochial, and religious schools also serving students in grades pre-K–12. There are several accredited private Christian schools in the city. Among them are Catholic High School,[33] Faith Christian Academy,[34] Oakwood Adventist Academy,[35] and Westminster Christian Academy.

Higher education

Huntsville's higher education institutions include:

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is the largest university serving the greater Huntsville area. The research-intensive university has more than 7,700 students. Approximately half of the university’s graduates earn a degree in engineering or science, making the university one of the largest producers of engineers and physical scientists in Alabama.

Oakwood University, founded in 1896, is a Seventh-day Adventist university with over 1,800 students and a member institution of the United Negro College Fund. It is one of the nation's leading producers of successful Black applicants to medical schools. Also, the school is home to the USCAA National Basketball Champions (2008) and the winning team of the 19th and 20th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournaments (2008 and 2009).

Numerous colleges and universities have satellite locations or extensions in Huntsville:

Huntsville Hospital and Crestwood Medical Center also has an accredited school of radiologic technology[34].

Cultural

Historic districts

  • Twickenham Historic District was chosen as the name of the first of three of the city's historic districts. It features homes in the Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles introduced to the city by Virginia-born architect George Steele about 1818, and contains the most dense concentration of antebellum homes in Alabama. The 1819 Weeden House Museum, home of female artist and poet Howard Weeden, is open to the public, as are several others in the district.
  • Old Town Historic District[36] contains a variety of styles (Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and even California cottages), with homes dating from the late 1820s through the early 1900s.
  • Five Points Historic District,[37] the newest historic district, consists predominantly of bungalows built around the turn of the 20th century, by which time Huntsville was becoming a mill town.

Museums

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center exhibits a Saturn I (left, behind trees) and a much larger (and farther back) Saturn V mock-up along with a number of other rockets illustrating the history of United States space exploration. A simulator in the foreground was built from an adapter cone from the flight model Saturn V (not pictured).
  • US Space & Rocket Center is home to the US Space Camp and Aviation Challenge programs as well as the only Saturn V rocket designated a National Historic Landmark.
  • Alabama Constitution Village features eight reconstructed Federal style buildings, with living-museums displays downtown.[38]
  • Burritt Museum and Park located on Monte Sano Mountain, is a regional history museum featuring a 1930s mansion, nature trails, scenic overlooks and more.[39]
  • Clay House Museum is an antebellum home built ca. 1853 and showcases decorative styles up to 1950 and an outstanding collection of Noritake Porcelain.[40]
  • Early Works Museum is a child friendly interactive museum in downtown Huntsville.[38]
  • Harrison Brothers Hardware Store established in 1879, is the oldest operating hardware store in Alabama. Though now owned and operated by the Historic Huntsville Foundation, it is still a working store, and part museum featuring skilled craftsmen who volunteer to run the store and answer questions.[41][42]
  • The Historic Huntsville Depot completed in 1860 is the oldest surviving railroad depot in Alabama and one of the oldest surviving depots in the United States.[43]
  • Huntsville Museum of Art in Big Spring International Park offers permanent displays, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs for children and adults.[44]
  • Sci-Quest is an interactive premiere hands-on museum for early childhood education, aged four through sixth grade.[45]
  • North Alabama Railroad Museum is a railroad museum with over 30 pieces of rolling stock.[46]

Parks

  • Monte Sano State Park[47] has over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) and features hiking and bicycling trails, rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, campsites, full RV hook-ups, and a recently reconstructed lodge.[48]
  • Big Spring International Park is a park in downtown Huntsville centered around a natural water body (Big Spring). The park contains the Huntsville Museum of Art and is home to festivals such as the Panoply Arts Festival and the Big Spring Jam. There are many fish that live in the spring's niche. There is also a waterfall and a constantly-lit gas torch. Many Huntsvillians enjoy walking around and spending time at the park.
  • Huntsville Botanical Garden features educational programs, woodland paths, broad grassy meadows and stunning floral collections.[49]
  • Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama is a member supported, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the natural heritage of the area, and has preserved more than 5,000 acres (20 km2) of open space, wildflower areas, wetlands, working farms and scenic vistas in North Alabama, including 1,000+ acres (4.0 km²) of the Monte Sano Preserve (Monte Sano Mountain), 1,000+ acres (4.0 km²) of the Blevins Gap Preserve (Huntsville & Green Mountains), and 813 acres (3.29 km2) of the Wade Mountain Preserve. Volunteers have created and maintain 33+ miles (53+ km) of public trails - all of which are within the Huntsville city limits.[50]
  • The Lydia Gold Skatepark,[51] located behind the Historic Huntsville Depot is open to the public. In 2003, it was dedicated to the late Lydia Leigh Gold (1953-1993), an area skateboarding activist in the 1980s and the former owner of “Tattooed Lady Comics and Skateboards.” Helmets are the only pad requirement. No bikes, scooters, or other wheeled vehicles are allowed – only skateboards and rollerblades are permitted.[52]

Festivals

  • Big Spring Jam is an annual three-day music festival held on the last full weekend of September in and around Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. It features a diversity of music including rock, country, Christian, kid-friendly, and oldies.
  • The Panoply Arts Festival[53] is an annual arts festival that begain in May 1982. It is presented by The Arts Council[54] and held the last full weekend of each April in the Big Spring International Park and the Von Braun Center Concert Hall. The festival includes six performance stages featuring presentations, demonstrations, performances, competitions, and workshops to promote the arts. Panoply has had three record attendances in a row, averaging 100,000 for 2007, 2008, and 2009.[citation needed] The Southeast Tourism Society consistently ranks the festival among their "Top Twenty Events" and Governor Bob Riley announced it as one of Alabama's top ten tourism events.
  • The June Black Arts Festival[55] is the largest two-day ethnic festival in the Huntsville area. It features the talent of local, regional, and national entertainers and artists in the black community. Begun in 1990 by veteran Huntsville broadcaster Hundley Batts, Sr., the first 17 events were held at the grounds surrounding the WEUP studio complex. Due to parking and traffic considerations, the festival was moved in 2007 to an area near the Lewis Crews Football Stadium on the campus of Alabama A&M University.
  • Con†Stellation is an annual general-interest science fiction convention.[56] Con†Stellation (also written as Con*Stellation) is generally held over a Friday-Sunday weekend in September each year (as of 2009) but exact dates vary.

Public golf courses

  • Becky Pierce Municipal Golf Course,[57] known locally as the "Muni", off Airport Road (named for the old airport, not near the current airport).
  • Sunset Landing Golf Club (located next to the airport)
  • Colonial Golf Course
  • Fox Run Golf Course
  • Redstone Arsenal Golf Course (Open to military ID holders)
  • Hampton Cove[58] is one of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trails, named after Hampton Cove, and features two championship 18-hole courses and one par three. (Owens Cross Roads, AL)
  • Harvest Hills Golf Course (Harvest, AL)
  • Chriswood Golf Course (Athens, AL)
  • Southern Gayles (Athens, AL)
  • Canebrake Club[59] (Athens, AL)
  • Richland Golf Center (Huntsville, Al)

Private golf courses

  • Established in 1925, the historic Huntsville Country Club boasts a challenging 18-hole course with dining and banquet facilities located just North of downtown at 2601 Oakwood Avenue.
  • The Ledges is Huntsville's newest golf community with 18 holes, dining and banquet facilities overlooking Jones Valley.
  • Valley Hill Country Club features 27 holes in South Huntsville's Jones Valley.

Libraries

  • The Huntsville Madison County Public Library[60] founded in 1818, is Alabama's oldest continually operating library system with 12 branches throughout the county including one bookmobile. The Main Library Archives contains a wealth of historical resources, including displays of photographic collections and artifacts, has Alabama's highest materials circulation rate, and features daily public programs. The library system provides free public access internet computers and wireless internet access in all facilities.

Arts Associations

Several arts groups have passed the 50-year mark: Huntsville Community Chorus Association; Huntsville Art League; Theatre Huntsville (through its parent company); Broadway Theatre League; Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre; Rocket City Chorus; Huntsville Symphony Orchestra; and Huntsville Photographic Society among them.

  • Founded in October 1962 as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, The Arts Council, Inc.[61] includes over 90 local arts organizations and advocates. TAC sponsors the arts through five Core Programs: Arts Education—including the “Meet the Artist” interactive, “distance learning” program at Educational Television[62] and ArtVentures Summer Arts Camp; Member Services; the annual Panoply® Arts Festival;[63] Concerts in the Park, a series of “summer serenades under the stars” held at Big Spring International Park in partnership with the City;[64] and Community Information Services, featuring “Boost Your Buzz,” an annual publicity workshop. Each March, TAC launches the nautically themed SEAFARE, a fundraiser anchored by a seafood buffet, music, and a silent auction. In November TAC offers pARTy, an annual art sale/cocktail event, a forum where regional artists exhibit their work for collectors. TAC further champions area visual artists with two galleries: art@TAC, utilizing the walls near the company’s Von Braun Center[65] offices, and the JavaGalleria, in Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria/Gelateria. TAC supports The Bench Project[66] and the strategic planning effort to support Huntsville-Madison County’s economic development goals through expanded arts and cultural opportunities known as Create Huntsville.[67]

Performing arts

  • The Flying Monkey Arts Center[68] is located in the historic Lowe Mill under the auspices of Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment[69] and hosts a variety of events[70] such as the traditional Cigar Box Guitar festival, the Sex Workers' Art Show, and many presentations of the Film Co-op.[71]
  • Huntsville Symphony Orchestra[72] is Alabama's oldest continuously operating professional symphony orchestra, featuring performances of classical, pops and family concerts, and music education programs in public schools.
  • Fantasy Playhouse Children's Theatre,[73] Huntsville's oldest children's theater, was founded in 1960. An all-volunteer organization, Fantasy Playhouse performs for the children of North Alabama both on stage and off. Fantasy Academy, the organization's dance, music, and art school, teaches children and adults each year. Fantasy Playhouse regularly produces three plays a year with an additional annual play, A Christmas Carol, produced early each December.
  • Theatre Huntsville,[74] the result of a merger between the Twickenham Repertory Company (1979-1997) and Huntsville Little Theatre (1950-1997), is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, all-volunteer arts organization that presents six plays each season in the Von Braun Center Playhouse. It also produces the annual "Shakespeare on the Mountain" in an outdoor venue, such as Burritt on the Mountain. Presentations range from "The Foreigner" and "Noises Off" to original plays ("The Trial of Frank James in Huntsville, Alabama"), "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge," "The Laramie Project" and "Angels in America," to the occasional musical ("Little Shop of Horrors", "Nunsense"). In addition, TH presents drama-related workshops (stage management, stage makeup, etc.), as announced.
  • Independent Musical Productions,[75] was founded in 1993 and presents at least one annual main production such as "Ragtime," "Civil War," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Into The Woods," and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." In addition, musicals for children and outreach programs complete the season.
  • Plays are performed at Renaissance Theatre,[76] with two stages, the MainStage (upstairs) and the Alpha Stage (downstairs), each with seating about 85. Formerly the commissary building for the historic Lincoln Mill Village.[77] Performances range from original works to standards, and have included the regional première of "The Maltese Falcon" (April 2008); "Doubt, A Parable", "Urinetown", "The Rocky Horror Show", "The Lion in Winter", and "Holy Ghosts", which took "Best Show" on behalf of the State at SETC's Community Theatre Festival.[78]
  • Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center[79] is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that opened in 2007, after nearly $3 million in renovations to the historic building. It was once the social center of the Merrimack Mill Village in the early 1900s. The Company Store, gymnasium, bowling alley, were all there and provided a place for socialization and recreation to all of the village's residents. Merrimack Hall now includes a 302-seat performance hall, a 3,000 square feet (280 m2) foot dance studio, and rehearsal and instructional spaces for musicians. Past productions and performers include "Menopause The Musical", "Dixie's Tupperware Party", Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, Dionne Warwick, Lisa Loeb, Wade Robson, Claire Lynch, and the Second City Comedy Troupe.
  • The Broadway Theatre League[80] was founded in 1960. It sponsors a season of Broadway productions. Such shows as "Rent", "Chicago", "Sweeney Todd", "Spamalot", and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", along with season extras such as "Happy Days" and "The Rat Pack", have been performed with some performers in the Von Braun Center's Concert Hall.
  • Ars Nova School of the Arts[81] is a local conservatory for music and performing arts. Ars Nova also produces musical theatre, opera, and operetta for the local stage, ranging from Verdi's "Macbeth" to "The Mikado", "My Fair Lady", and "Hansel and Gretel".
  • Huntsville Community Chorus Association[82] is the state's second-oldest performing arts organization,[citation needed] producing both choral concerts and musical theater productions, ranging from "The Pirates of Penzance" to "Guys and Dolls" and "Jesus Christ Superstar". In addition, HCCA features its Madrigal Singers; "Glitz!" (a show choir); a Chamber Chorale; an annual summer melodrama/fundraiser; and three children's groups, the Huntsville Community Children’s Chorus (HC3), HC3Jr, for the younger set, and HC3Sr, for high-schoolers.
  • The Huntsville Youth Orchestra[83] was founded by Russell Gerhart, founding conductor of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, in 1961. The HYO is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to “foster, promote, and provide the support necessary for students from North Alabama to experience musical education in an orchestral setting.” The organization has six separate ensembles: the Huntsville Youth Symphony, Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Concert Orchestra, Intermezzo Orchestra, and Novice Strings.
  • Huntsville Chamber Music Guild[84]—Organized in 1952 in order to promote and present chamber music programs, the group seeks to present recitals in which artists are presented in works of the classical masters.

Visual arts

  • The Huntsville Museum of Art[85] is looking towards its 40-year anniversary, having opened in 1970. It boasts the largest privately owned, permanent collection of art by American women in the U.S., featuring and Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, among others.
  • The Huntsville Photographic Society[86] started in 1956. A non-profit organization, the HPS is dedicated to furthering of the art and science of photography in North Alabama.
  • The Huntsville Art League[87] held its first meeting in October 1957, adopting the name “The Huntsville Art League and Museum Association” (HALMA). Its current location is 3005 L&N Drive, just south of Drake Avenue near Parkway Place Mall. In addition to their Visiting Artists and “Limelight Artists” series, which highlight both nonresident and member artists at the home office, HAL features its members’ works at galleries located in the Jane Grote Roberts Auditorium of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library – Main, the Heritage Club, and the halls of the Huntsville Times.

Convention centers and arenas

  • The Von Braun Center, which opened in 1975, has an arena capable of seating 10,000, a 2,000-seat concert hall, a 500-seat playhouse (~330 seats with proscenium staging), and 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) of convention space. Both the arena and concert hall are scheduled for major renovations; upon completion, they will be rechristened the Propst Arena and the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, respectively.

Other

Sports

Past sports franchises

Stadiums

Notable natives and residents

Health and Public safety

Hospitals

Suburbs

Sister cities

Huntsville's sister cities include:

References

  1. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Alabama, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 28, 2007. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2006-04-01.csv. Retrieved June 28, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Storey, Deborah (February 3, 2010). "Huntsville on the list of 'Distinctive Destinations' for 2010". The Huntsville Times. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/post_199.html. 
  5. ^ Helion Lodge #1, Huntsville, Alabama
  6. ^ a b NASA MSFC Notes on the History of Huntsville
  7. ^ Hughes, Dr. Kaylene. Redstone Arsenal Complex Chronology: The Pre-Missile Era, 1941. Redstone.army.mil
  8. ^ Redstone Arsenal Complex Chronology: The Pre-Missile Era, 1949. Redstone.army.mil
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ City Characteristics. Huntsville City website. Retrieved: 9 January 2010.
  11. ^ Haskins, Shelly (14 February 2008), "Huntsville council annexes more Limestone land ahead of anti-annexation bill", The Huntsville Times (Huntsville), http://blog.al.com/breaking/2008/02/huntsville_council_annexes_mor.html, retrieved 9 January 2010 
  12. ^ "Huntsville tornado measured EF-2 on Fujita scale". Associated Press. blog.al.com. 2010-01-23. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/01/huntsville_tornado_measured_ef.html. 
  13. ^ Huntsville, Alabama Climatology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hun/climate/hsvcli.php, retrieved 2009-06-21 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ 2000 Census Data on Same-sex couple households
  16. ^ Department of Public Safety
  17. ^ Huntsville Fire Department
  18. ^ Heavy Rescue
  19. ^ Huntsville Police Department
  20. ^ Huntsville Police Academy
  21. ^ Accardi, Marian (January 16, 2010). "Getting Started". The Huntsville Times. http://www.al.com/business/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/business/1263636915273650.xml&coll=1. 
  22. ^ Department of Parking and Public Transit
  23. ^ Huntsville Utilities
  24. ^ TVA’s Bellefonte Site Selected by National Nuclear Consortium
  25. ^ at&t/Huntsville/Athens/Decatur/Madison
  26. ^ Arbitron Rating of radio markets
  27. ^ 20 years After
  28. ^ "Filming Locations for Like Moles, Like Rats (2007)". Internet Movie Database. http://imdb.com/title/tt0825279/locations. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  29. ^ "Filming Locations for Air Band or How I Hated Being Bobby Manelli's Blonde Headed Friend (2005)". Internet Movie Database. http://imdb.com/title/tt0480792/locations. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  30. ^ "Filming Locations for Constellation (2005)". Internet Movie Database. http://imdb.com/title/tt0315431/locations. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  31. ^ Huntsville City Schools
  32. ^ a b c d / Huntsville City Schools Annual Report
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ [3]
  35. ^ [4]
  36. ^ [5]
  37. ^ [6]
  38. ^ a b [7]
  39. ^ [8]
  40. ^ [9]
  41. ^ [10]
  42. ^ [11]
  43. ^ [12]
  44. ^ [13]
  45. ^ [14]
  46. ^ [15]
  47. ^ [16]
  48. ^ [17]
  49. ^ [18]
  50. ^ [19]
  51. ^ [20]
  52. ^ [21]
  53. ^ Panoply Arts Festival
  54. ^ The Arts Council
  55. ^ 103. FM, WEUP radio
  56. ^ "Con*Stellation, a Science Fiction convention". http://www.con-stellation.org. 
  57. ^ Becky Pierce Municipal Golf Course
  58. ^ Hampton Cove
  59. ^ Canebrake Club
  60. ^ Huntsville Madison County Public Library
  61. ^ The Arts Council, Inc. (TAC)
  62. ^ Educational Television (ETV)
  63. ^ Panoply® Arts Festival
  64. ^ City of Huntsville Department of Recreation Services’ Division of Community Events
  65. ^ Von Braun Center
  66. ^ The Bench Project
  67. ^ Create Huntsville
  68. ^ The Flying Monkey Arts Center
  69. ^ Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment
  70. ^ events
  71. ^ The Film Co-op
  72. ^ Huntsville Symphony Orchestra
  73. ^ Fantasy Playhouse Children's Theatre (FP)
  74. ^ Theatre Huntsville (TH)
  75. ^ Independent Musical Productions (IMP)
  76. ^ Renaissance Theatre (RT)
  77. ^ Lincoln Mill Village
  78. ^ [22]
  79. ^ Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center
  80. ^ Broadway Theatre League
  81. ^ [23]
  82. ^ Huntsville Community Chorus Association
  83. ^ Huntsville Youth Orchestra (HYO)
  84. ^ Huntsville Chamber Music Guild
  85. ^ Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA)
  86. ^ Huntsville Photographic Society (HPS)
  87. ^ Huntsville Art League (HAL)
  88. ^ National Speleological Society (NSS)
  89. ^ Von Braun Astronomical Society
  90. ^ Huntsville Speedway
  91. ^ Dixie Derby Girls Roller Derby League
  92. ^ Huntsville Rugby Club
  93. ^ USA Rugby South
  94. ^ [24]
  95. ^ http://www.rocketcitytitans.com
  96. ^ http://www.thepsfl.org
  97. ^ for high school graduation year
  98. ^ for qvc contest
  99. ^ a b Reichler, Joseph L., ed (1979) [1969]. The Baseball Encyclopedia (4th edition ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-578970-8. 
  100. ^ "1986 Swimming - Men's Competition". Goodwill Games. http://www.goodwillgames.com/html/past_1986swimming.html. 
  101. ^ Russell Wikle joins Team RoadRacingWorld.com Suzuki for 2009
  102. ^ Crestwood Medical Center
  103. ^ "Sister Cities". Tainan City Government. http://www.tncg.gov.tw/tour.asp?sub1=01&sub2=0B&lang=E. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 

External links


Redirecting to Huntsville, Alabama


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Huntsville (Alabama) article)

From Wikitravel

Huntsville [1] is in northern Alabama, USA about 20 miles from the border with Tennessee. It is the county seat of Madison County, and is located north of the Tennessee River.

Understand

Huntsville was founded in 1805 by a Virginia man named John Hunt. For the first 140 years of its history, the city was a sleepy cotton town. In 1950, the US Army transferred Dr. Werner von Braun and his team of German rocket scientists to Redstone Arsenal. Within a decade, the city became a center for rocket design and construction. In 1960, NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center, which has played a significant role in the Redstone (named after Redstone Arsenal), Gemini, and Apollo manned space programs.

Today, the city continues to be a center for missile defense and aerospace technologies, with companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman having major operations here. Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the country, is home to many of these companies.

According to the Census Bureau 2005 estimates, Huntsville is home to 166,313 residents. The Huntsville metro area, with 517,006 residents, is the third largest in Alabama, after Birmingham and Mobile. Madison, Athens, Decatur, and a number of smaller cities are generally considered part of the Huntsville metro area.

Get in

By plane

Huntsville International Airport (HSV) [2] is located off of Interstate 565, 15 miles west of town. Passenger aircraft fly to/from such cities as Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, Denver, Memphis, Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston and New York City. Huntsville is served by the following carriers:

  • American Airlines [3] and American Eagle [4], with service to Dallas and Chicago.
  • Delta Airlines [5], American Southeast Airlines [ [6] and Comair [7] (Delta Connection), with service to Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C.-Reagan, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Detroit.
  • Continental Express [8], with service to Houston.
  • US Airways Express [9], with service to Charlotte and Washington, D.C-Reagan.
  • United Airlines [10], with service to Denver and Washington-Dulles.

By train

There is no passenger train service to Huntsville.

By car

Huntsville is accessible from nearby Interstate 65, approximately 20 miles west of downtown. An interstate spur, Interstate 565, runs from I-65 eastward for 21 miles, to and through downtown Huntsville.

  • I-565: Spur route to I-65, providing access to Birmingham, AL, Nashville, TN, and Decatur, AL.
  • US 72: providing access to Chattanooga, TN (via Interstate 24), Memphis, TN, and Athens, AL.
  • US 431: providing access to Guntersville, AL and Anniston, AL.
  • US 231: providing access to Fayetteville, TN and Arab, AL.

By bus

Greyhound [11] has a depot at the corner of Holmes Ave. and Monroe St. in downtown Huntsville.

Get around

Huntsville is very car-oriented. Public transportation [12] is not popular in Huntsville, but does exist. The city offers 13 different bus routes, including a Tourist Trolley, which loops past most of the city's attractions and shopping areas. Turnovers between buses can be between fifteen minutes in downtown and one hour in outlying areas. There are also two free weekend evening routes that serve Downtown, Five Points, and the Medical District.

Fares

  • One way: $1
  • Seniors, students, children under 6, one way: $.50
  • Tourist Loop: $2 (all day pass)
  • Downtown Weekend Trolley: Free

Hours

  • M-Th: 6AM-6PM
  • F: 6AM-2AM (Downtown Trolley only after 6PM)
  • Sa: 7PM-2AM (Downtown Trolley only)
  • Su: No service
Saturn V Rocket
Saturn V Rocket
an A-12 Oxcart Blackbird
an A-12 Oxcart Blackbird

While not widely known as a tourist destination, Huntsville does have a number of attractions of interest.

  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville (I-565 Exit 15), +1 256-837-3400 (guestservices@spacecamp.com), [13]. Daily 9AM-5PM except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day. A number of attractions, especially of interest to space-amazed kids and kids at heart, are available at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum. Although the museum is aging a bit, there is still something for everyone, and a good mix of education and entertainment. Additional details available at the web link. $18.95 for both IMAX and the museum (Kids 3-12 $12.95). Museum only or movie only tickets available.
  • Huntsville Museum of Art, 300 Church Street, 1-800-786-9095, [14]. Open daily until 5PM (except Thursday). The Museum of Art is in Big Spring Park. It features seven exhibit halls which host many regional and national art exhibits every year and the museum's own 2,500 piece collection. There is a large gift shop and a coffee shop with a patio that overlooks the park. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, military, and students, $3 for children 6-11, and free for members and children under 6.
  • The EarlyWorks Museum Complex, [15]
    • Alabama Constitution Village, 109 Gates Avenue, +1 256-564-8100. See where the state of Alabama was born in 1819. Village includes a cabinet shop, law office, and a post office. During the Holidays, "Santa's Village" is held here. Open Wednesday through Saturday, March through October, and special hours in November and December. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children and seniors.
    • Historic Huntsville Depot, 320 Church Street, +1 256-564-8100. Mid-1800's era railroad depot used as a prison for Civil War soldiers. Various festivals are held here throughout the year, including the Rocket City BBQ Festival in May. Open Wednesday through Saturday, March through October. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children and seniors.
    • EarlyWorks Children's History Museum, 404 Madison Street, +1 256-564-8100. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM. The South's largest hands-on children's history museum. See a 46-foot keelboat, play on giant instruments, and listen to stories told by the "Talking Tree." Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children, and $4 for toddlers.
  • Burritt on the Mountain, 3101 Burritt Drive, +1 256-536-2882, [16]. Located on Round Top Mountain off of US 431 and Monte Sano Boulevard. Features a large early 20th Century mansion, a late 19th Century farm and a petting zoo. There are also nature trails, including one that is handicapped-accessible. Open Tues-Sun year-round, though hours vary between winter and summer months.
  • Clay House Museum, 16 Main Street, Madison, +1 256-325-1018, [17]. We-Sa. A 1850s Antebellum home and art museum in downtown Madison.
  • Harrison Brothers Hardware, 124 South Side Square, 1-866-533-3631, [18]. M-Sa. Founded in 1879, it is the oldest continuously-running hardware store in Alabama. Located on the Courthouse Square downtown.
  • North Alabama Railroad Museum, 694 Chase Road, +1 256-851-6276, [19]. Located in the Chase community in Northeast Huntsville. Features the smallest union station in the country and 90-minute train rides on select Saturdays. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, April to December. Ticket prices for the train excursion are $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Prices may vary for special events.
  • State Black Archives and Museum, Wilson Bldg, Alabama A&M University, +1 256-851-5846. M-F. Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University in North Huntsville/Normal. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for toddlers and A&M faculty and students.
  • Sci-Quest, 102-D Wynn Drive, +1 256-837-0606, [20]. Tu-Su. North Alabama's only hands-on science museum. Features more than 125 exhibits and an Immersive Theater. To get there, take I-565 Exit 15 to Old Madison Pike. Take a right on Wynn Drive. Sci-Quest is on the left, behind Calhoun Community College. $9 adults, $8.50 seniors, $8 children.
  • Veterans Memorial Museum, 2060-A Airport Road, +1 256-883-3737, [21]. Open W-Sa 10AM-4PM. Features military exhibits, memorabilia, and vehicles dating back to the Revolutionary War. To get there, take Memorial Parkway South to Airport Road. Take a right; museum is on the right. $5 adult, $4 seniors, $3 students under 18.
  • Weeden House Museum, 300 Gates Avenue, +1 256-536-7718, [22]. M-F 11AM-4PM. A house built in 1819, the same year Alabama became a state. Located in the Twickenham Historic District. $5 adults, $2.50 children.

Parks and Greenspaces

A map of city parks can be found at the city website [23]

  • Big Spring International Park Huntsville's signature park, located downtown. This is where Huntsville was founded more than 200 years ago. Features various gifts given to the city by countries like Japan (the Red Bridge) and Norway (the lighthouse). Restaurants, hotels, and the Von Braun Center are nearby. Recently underwent an expansion near the Embassy Suites hotel.
  • Huntsville Land Trust Trails, 907 Franklin Street, +1 256-534-5263, [24]. A 3,400 acre network of nature preserves around the city. One of the most popular attractions is the Three Caves quarry on Monte Sano.
  • Huntsville Greenways, [25]. A network of bikeways, trails, and bike-friendly roads across the metro area. Currently only 18 miles have been completed, but will eventually grow to over 200 miles. Aldridge Creek Greenway in Southeast Huntsville is the most popular bikeway, but it becomes impassable after heavy rains.
  • Ditto Landing, 1-800-552-8769, [26]. M-F 8AM-10PM, Sa-Su 6AM-10PM. Public park along the Tennessee River, with boathouses, greenways, and a campground.
  • Green Mountain Nature Trail, South Shawdee Road, +1 256-883-9501. Open daily. A mile-long nature trail that wraps around a 16-acre lake. Features a covered bridge, picnic area, and a "Braille trail." Located off Green Mountain Road in Southeast Huntsville.
  • Monte Sano State Park, 5105 Nolen Avenue, +1 256-534-3757, [27]. Large state park located on Monte Sano. Features 14 miles of hiking and biking trails, a large picnic area, cabins, a Japanese garden, and a campground. Take US 431 to Monte Sano Boulevard and follow the signs.
  • Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, +1 256-830-4447, [28]. A 110-acre garden with woodlands, meadows and ponds. Features the nation's largest Butterfly House, which is open from May to September. In 2006, a Nature Center and Children's Garden opened. In November and December, the Botanical Garden is home to the Galaxy of Lights. Open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children under 18. Hours and admission vary between summer and fall/winter/spring months.
  • Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary, [29]. The largest city-owned park and preserve, with ten miles of trails through swamps and wooded areas. Horses and bikes are allowed on some trails. Located off US 431 south of Hampton Cove.
  • Twickenham Historic District. The Twickenham and Old Town historic districts, located just east of downtown, feature large homes that were built as early as 1814. In June and July, free guided walking tours of the area start at 10AM each Saturday.
  • Five Points Historic District, [30]. Five Points is an early 20th Century neighborhood featuring several architectural styles, including California Bungalow, Queen Anne and other modest Victorian styles. In recent years, it has become one of Huntsville's trendiest neighborhoods, with small shops, art galleries, and restaurants lining the streets in the area.
  • Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex, 3185 Leeman Ferry Road, +1 256-883-3774, [31]. Year-round public ice skating rink. Open most afternoons to the public, but check website for hours. Admission is $6.50 per person. Located behind Joe Davis Stadium.
  • Canoeing on the Flint River. Several canoing expeditions are available. The Flint River is in East Madison County, about 7 miles from downtown.
  • Robert Trent Jones-Hampton Cove Golf Course, 450 Old Highway 431, Owens Crossroads, +1 256-551-1818, [32]. This 54-hole golf course is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has nine world-renowned golf courses across Alabama. Located in Hampton Cove off US 431.
  • Space Camp/Aviation Challenge, [33]. Space Camp is a week-long astronaut training program for kids and teenagers. Shorter programs are available. It is celebrating its 25th anniaversary in 2007. Located at the US Space and Rocket Center.
  • Theatre Huntsville [34] is a non-profit, all-volunteer arts organization that presents six plays each season in downtown Huntsville's Von Braun Center Playhouse, and also produces the annual "Shakespeare on the Mountain" in an outdoor venue, such as Burritt on the Mountain. Presentations range from such popular favorites as "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Noises Off" to cutting-edge productions like "The Laramie Project" and "Angels in America," and even a few Alabama premieres, such as "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge." Information on tickets, group rates, special rates for touring and student groups, workshops, auditions, and more at +1 (256) 536-0807; please note that office hours are by appointment only.
  • Renaissance Theatre [35] was established in 1997 and has made a tremendous impact on the renewed interest in the Lincoln Mill neighborhood in Northeast Huntsville. The theatre is in the historically important Lincoln Mill Village Commissary Building, built in 1927 to accommodate the needs of the Lincoln Mill workers. Certain productions contain strong language and are thus recommended for adult audiences only; however, Renaissance also produces children's shows.
  • Huntsville Community Chorus Association [36] is the state's second-oldest performing arts organization, producing both choral concerts and musical theater productions (ranging from "The Pirates of Penzance" to "Guys and Dolls" and "Jesus Christ Superstar"). In addition, HCCA features its Madrigal Singers; "Glitz!" (a show choir); a Chamber Chorale; an annual summer melodrama/fundraiser; and three children's groups, the Huntsville Community Children’s Chorus (HC3), HC3Jr, for the younger set, and HC3Sr, for high-schoolers.
  • Huntsville Stars, +1 256-882-2562, [37]. Minor-league (AA) affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Plays from April-September at Joe Davis Stadium off of South Memorial Parkway.
  • Huntsville Havoc, +1 256-518-6160, [38]. Minor-league hockey team. Plays from October-March at the Von Braun Center Arena. Buy tickets early- games sell out frequently.
  • Tennessee Valley Vipers, +1 256-518-6160, [39]. Minor-league arena football team. Plays from March-July at the Von Braun Center Arena.
  • Huntsville Speedway, 357 Hegia Burrow Road, +1 256-882-9191, [40]. Stock-car racetrack located off Hobbs Island Road in South Huntsville. Races are held on Friday nights from March to October. Admission is $10, $8 for military and seniors, and $5 for students.
  • Huntsville Dragway, 502 Quarter Mountain Road, +1 256-859-0807, [41]. Small dragway located in Harvest. Open Fridays and Saturdays from March to October.
  • Panoply Arts Festival, +1 256-519-ARTS, [42]. This three-day outdoor festival features presentations, demonstrations, performances, and workshops. Panoply is one of the region’s largest festivals, with activities such as the “Global Village” – a gateway to the area’s diverse cultures – to free hands-on children’s activities to the “Official Alabama State Fiddling Championship,” “Homegrown Talent Contest,” “Ten-Minute Playwright Competition,” choreography and photography competitions, and the Art Marketplace. Held the last weekend in April each year in downtown's Big Spring International Park, Von Braun Center, and Huntsville Museum of Art.
  • Summer Sidewalk Arts Strolls [43], the third Thursday of each month throughout the summer of 2007, beginning at 4:30PM and continuing until 8:30PM Featuring artisan crafts and musical and cultural performances.
  • Big Spring Jam, +1 256-551-2359, [44]. Every year, over 250,000 people attend this music festival that attracts big-name bands in country, rock, blues, and jazz. Held the last weekend in September.
  • Whistle Stop BBQ Festival. Held the second weekend in May at the Huntsville Depot. Features music and a Barbecue cookoff.
  • WEUP Black Arts Festival, +1 256-837-9387, [45]. Held in June near the Lewis Crews Football Stadium on the campus of Alabama A&M University (off Meridian Street in the Northeast Huntsville/Normal area). Features local black musicians and artists.
  • Galaxy of Lights. A drive-through Christmas lights show held at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Open from 5:30PM-9PM nightly from mid-November to New Year's Eve.
  • Santa's Village. Held at Alabama Constitution Village. See Santa, the elves, and the reindeer. Open from 5PM-9PM nightly from Thanksgiving to December 23rd.
  • Con*Stellation. Annual science fiction/fantasy convention [46] held over a 3-day (Friday-Sunday) weekend each fall.
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville, [47]. A mid-sized university that specializes in engineering and science. Part of the University of Alabama system. Located off Sparkman Drive near Research Park.
  • Alabama A&M University, [48]. A historically black college located in Normal in Northeast Huntsville.
  • Oakwood College, [49]. A small Seventh Day Adventist school located in Northwest Huntsville.
  • JF Drake State Technical College,[50]. A small public technical school in Northeast Huntsville.
  • Calhoun Community College, [51]. The largest community college in Alabama, with campuses in Huntsville, Decatur, and Redstone Arsenal.
  • Athens State University, [52]. The state's only 2-year upper-level university. Located in Athens, which is about 20 miles west of Huntsville.
  • Florida Institute of Technology, [53]. Campus located on Redstone Arsenal serving the local high tech community.
  • Madison Square Mall, [54]. An enclosed mall with 140 shops and restaurants. Tenants include Sears, JC Penney, Dillard's, and Belk. Located on University Drive (US 72) near Research Park.
  • Parkway Place, [55]. An enclosed mall with 70 upscale shops and restaurants. Tenants include Belk, Dillard's, Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, and Carrabba's Italian Grill. Located off of Memorial Parkway at the Drake Avenue exit.
  • Bridge Street Town Centre, [56]. An open-air upscale lifestyle center with 60 shops and restaurants and a 12-story Westin hotel. Tenants include J. Crew, Kate Spade, Swarovski, PF Chang's and Barnes & Noble. Located at the Research Park Boulevard (AL 255)/Old Madison Pike interchange.

Eat

Like most cities, Huntsville does have its fair share of fast-food restaurants, but there are many local eateries as well that serve every budget and taste. Because of Huntsville's diverse population, a number of ethnic restaurants have opened in recent years with restaurants specializing in Greek, Indian, and Thai, among many other ethnicities.

  • Main Street Cafe & Bakery, 7500 S. Memorial Parkway (One block south of Martin Rd overpass), +1 256-881-0044, [57]. 7-3. Located in Main Street Shopping Village with fresh salads, sandwiches and soups. Budget.  edit
  • Bandito Burrito, 3017 Governors Dr Sw, +1 256-534-0866. Vegetarian-friendly texmex dive. Quick service, freshly made.
  • Brewbakers, 8000 Madison Boulevard, +1 256-772-1901. Bakery.
  • Bison's Cafe, 8020 Madison Boulevard, +1 256-772-4477. Wings and sandwiches. Located in front of Publix.
  • Tony’s Italian Deli, 119 James Madison Drive, +1 256-772-4448.
  • Gibson's BBQ, 3319 Memorial Pkwy SW, +1 256-881-4851. Famous for its BBQ.
  • Mullins Drive In, 607 Andrew Jackson Way, 539-2826. Traditional Five Points breakfast/lunch spot
  • Po-Boy Factory, 815 Andrew Jackson Way, +1 256-539-3616.
  • Rolo's, 975-E Airport Rd., +1 256-883-7656. Barbecue and seafood.
  • Tenders, 800 Holmes Avenue, +1 256-533-7599, [58]. The original location of a local chain known for its chicken fingers.
  • Nothing but Noodles, 6125 University Drive, +1 256-922-1650, [59]. Really, its nothing but noodles. Located in the Burlington Coat Factory shopping center.
  • Sitar Indian Cuisine, 420 Jordan Lane, +1 256-536-3360, [60]. The best Indian food in town, and reasonably priced. The lunch buffet (all days but Saturday) at this family-owned chain changes items often, remaining fresh and very popular.
  • Thai Garden, 800 Wellman Avenue (near Five Points), +1 256-534-0122, [61]. Excellent, moderately priced Thai food in a comfortable atmosphere resulting largely from its family-run, family-friendly ambience. The longest-running Thai restaurant in the area.
  • Rosie’s Mexican Cantina, 6125 University Drive, +1 256-922-1001. Probably the most famous restaurant to come out of Huntsville since Steak-Out. Currently in the University Place shopping center, but moving soon across the street next to Logan's.
  • Viet Huong, 930 Old Monrovia Road, NW; #1 (near Madison Square Mall), +1 256-890-0104. Delicious Vietnamese cuisine, ranging from the familiar pho – the national dish – to clay pots, fresh spring rolls, Vietnamese coffees, and more. Condiments allow you to “doctor” your dishes to your liking.
  • Tim's Cajun Kitchen, 114 Jordan Lane, +1 256-533-7589. Local cajun restaurant.
  • Furniture Factory Bar & Grill, 619 Meridian Sreet, +1 256-539-8001, [62]. Restaurant with a large patio and live music. Artwork and (of course) furniture are for sale. Located between Downtown and Five Points.
  • Café Berlin, 964 Airport Road, +1 256-880-9920. Upscale German restaurant.
  • Beauregard's, 975 Airport Road, +1 256-880-2131. Wings, burgers.
  • Logan’s Roadhouse, 4249 Balmoral Drive, +1 256-881-0584, [63].
  • Luciano’s, 964 Airport Road, +1 256-885-0505. Upscale Italian restaurant.
  • McAlister’s Deli, 4800 Whitesburg Drive, +1 256-880-1557, [64]. Located in the Fresh Market shopping center.
  • Moe's Southwest Grill, 975-C Airport Road, +1 256-880-0113, [65]. Located next to Books-A-Million.
  • Pepito’s, 3508 Memorial Parkway, +1 256-885-0059. Mexican restaurant.
  • Chef's Table, 2030 Cecil Ashburn Drive, +1 256-880-7333, [66]. Huntsville's original tapas experience, locally owned and celebrating five years of quality cuisine.
  • El Palacio of Mexican Food, 2008 Memorial Parkway, +1 256-539-6075. One of the oldest, if not THE oldest, of Mexican restaurants in Huntsville.
  • Palette Cafe', 5000 Whitesburg Drive, +1 256-533-2230.
  • Phuket Thai Restaurant, 475 Providence Main St, +1 256-489-1612, [67]. A stylish Thai restaurant in the village of Providence.
  • 801 Franklin, 801 Franklin Street, +1 256-519-8019, [68]. A popular upscale restaurant located near the Medical District.
  • Shogun, 3991 University Drive, +1 256-534-3000, [69]. Upscale Japanese steakhouse chain.
  • Mikato Japanese Steak House, 4061 Independence Drive, +1 256-830-1700. Upscale Japanese restaurant.
  • Washington Square, 109 Washington Street, +1 256-704-5555. A pair of restaurants; Humphrey's Bar and Grill (live music and a patio) and The Chophouse(upscale steakhouse), [70].
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House, 800 Monroe Street, +1 256-539-3930, [71]. Upscale New Orleans steakhouse chain. Located within Embassy Suites.
  • Pauli’s Bar & Grill, 7143-C Highway 72, +1 256-722-2080. Upscale grill. [72]
  • Romano’s Macaroni Grill, 5901-G University Drive, +1 256-722-4770. Italian restaurant chain, can be quite expensive. Located in front of Madison Square. [73]
  • Surin of Thailand, 975 Airport Road, +1 256-213-9866. Upscale Thai restaurant. Located near Books-A-Million.
  • Jazz Factory, 109 North Side Square, +1 256-539-1919, [74]. Food, wine, and live music. Located on the Courthouse Square.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, 5901 University Drive, +1 256-837-0010, [75]. Steakhouse and bar, located in front of Madison Square.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, 2750 Carl T. Jones Road, +1 256-650-4115, [76]. Located in the Target shopping center.
  • Finnegan's Pub, 3310 Memorial Parkway, +1 256-881-9732. Irish pub. Located in front of the Hollywood 18 movie theater.
  • Chips & Salsa, 10300 Bailey Cove Rd SE, +1 256-880-1202. Bar with live music.
  • Black Water Hattie´s, 10000 Memorial Parkway, +1 256-489-3333. Bar.
  • Bongo's, 7908 Memorial Parkway S, +1 256-427-5656. Bar with live music.
  • Crossroads, Clinton Avenue. Large music venue downtown.
  • The Station, 8694 Madison Boulevard, +1 256-325-1333. Bar and grill.
  • Sweet Dreams Café, 7 Town Center Drive, +1 256-830-8486. Desserts, ice cream.
  • Coffee Tree Books & Brew, 7900 Bailey Cove Road, +1 256-880-6121. Popular coffee shop/hangout.
  • Olde Towne Coffee Shoppe, 511 Pratt Avenue, +1 256-539-5399.
  • Kaffeeklatsch, 103 Jefferson Street, +1 256-539-1636, [77]. This coffee shop is a downtown tradition.
  • Days Inn and Suites Research Park, 1145 McMurtrie Drive, +1 256-971-0208, [78]. Located just west of the Target shopping center on University Drive. Convenient to Research Park and West Huntsville. Rates start at $59 nightly.
  • LaQuinta Inn, [79].
    • East, 3141 University Drive, 533-0756. Located on University Drive near Jordan Lane. Nearby restaurants. Rooms start at $60 nightly.
    • West, 4870 University Drive, 830-2070. Convenient to Research Park and Madison Square Mall. Denny's restaurant on site. Rooms start at $60 nightly.
  • Microtel Inns & Suites Huntsville,1820 Chase Creek Row, 859-6655. Fitness room, free continental breakfast, free wifi. [80]
  • Comfort Suites, 6224 Torok Circle, +1 256-562-2400. [81] Huntsville's newest hotel, located next to the Best Western.
  • Fairfield Inn, 1385 Enterprise Way, +1 256-971-0921. Located just off University Drive between Burlington Coat Factory and Target. Convenient to West Huntsville and Research Park. [82]
  • Holiday Inn Research Park, 5903 University Drive, +1 256-830-0600. Located next to Madison Square. Restaurants and shopping nearby. Convenient to Research Park.
  • Holiday Inn Downtown, 401 Williams Avenue, +1 256-533-1400, [83]. Located next to Big Spring Park and the Von Braun Center. Upscale restaurant and a Starbucks inside.
  • Radisson Suites Huntsville South, 6000 S Memorial Parkway, +1 256-882-9400, [84]. South Huntsville's most upscale hotel. Restaurant onsite. Rooms start at $70 nightly.
  • Embassy Suites Huntsville, 800 Monroe Street, +1 256-539-7373, [85]. This 10-story hotel opened in October 2006. Great views of the city, downtown, and the skyline. Connected by a "skybridge" to the Von Braun Center. A Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is inside the hotel.
  • Westin Huntsville, 6800 Governors West, +1 256-428-2000, [86]. Located within the Bridge Street Town Center.
  • Candlewood Suites, 201 Exchange Place, +1 256-830-8222, [87]. Convenient to Space Center and Research Park. Rates start at $60 per night.
  • Residence Inn, 6305 Residence Inn Road, +1 256-895-0444. Located behind the Target shopping center off University Drive. Convenient to Research Park, restaurants, and shopping. Rooms start at $70 nightly.
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, 1565 The Boardwalk, +1 256-830-2500, [88]. Located off University Drive near Madison Square. Convenient to restaurants and shopping.

Contact

Telephone

The area code for Huntsville and North Alabama is 256.

Internet

Free WiFi is available at these places:

  • Big Spring Park
  • Krystal- Five locations in Madison County.
  • Stanlieo's Sub Villa- Jordan Lane and Governors Drive locations.
  • Atlanta Bread Co.- in the Target shopping center on University Drive.
  • West End Grill- on Old Madison Pike near the Research Park Blvd. interchange.
  • Huntsville Hospital
  • Crestwood Hospital
  • Huntsville International Airport
  • The Huntsville Times. Huntsville's only daily newspaper. Includes Go Magazine every Thursday, which includes info on restaurants, concerts, movies, and more.
  • Valley Planet. A monthly alternative newspaper.

Cope

Medical

There are two major hospitals in Huntsville.

  • Huntsville Hospital, 101 Sivley Road, +1 256-265-1000, [89]. A public hospital located downtown on Governors Drive.
    • Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children, [90]. Located just east of the main hospital.
  • Crestwood Medical Center, 1 Hospital Drive, +1 256-882-3100, [91]. A private hospital located off of Airport Road in South Huntsville.

Other hospitals in the Huntsville region:

  • Athens-Limestone Hospital, 902 Washington St, Athens, +1 256-233-9292, [92].
  • Parkway Medical Center, 1874 Beltline Road, Decatur, +1 256-350-2211, [93].
  • Decatur General Hospital, 1201 Seventh Street, Decatur, [94].
  • Highlands Medical Center, 380 Woods Cove Road, Scottsboro, +1 256-259-2444, [95].
  • Marshall Medical Center North, 8000 Alabama 69, Guntersville, +1 256-571-8000, [96].
  • Lincoln Medical Center, 106 Medical Center Blvd., Fayetteville, TN, +1 931-438-1100, [97].

Law enforcement

In an emergency, dial 911.

  • Huntsville Police Department. For non emergencies inside city limits, use 256-722-7100. The main precinct is located north of downtown off of North Memorial Parkway.
  • Madison County Sheriff's Department. For non-emergencies outside of Madison or Huntsville, use 256-532-3416.
  • Madison Police Department. For non emergencies in Madison city limits, use 256-722-7190.
  • Alabama State Troopers. For highway emergencies anywhere in Alabama, dial *HP (*47).
  • Summer- Average high: 89F (32C); Average low: 67F (19C). Summers are hot and humid, but the thermometer rarely goes above 100F. Strong thunderstorms do come out of nowhere in the afternoons.
  • Fall- Average high: 73F (23C); Average low: 51F (10C). Autumn is quite comfortable in Huntsville. First frost normally happens around Halloween. Strong tornadoes do occur in November.
  • Winter- Average high: 52F (11C); Average low: 32F (0C). Snow is a possibility, but never a guarantee. Most snow in Huntsville is on the light side (less than 2 inches). However, any snow amounts more than 1/3" can close roads and schools.
  • Spring- Average High: 72F (22C); Average low: 49F (9C). Being in a "tornado alley", Huntsville gets many tornado warnings in the spring, so be careful.
  • Lynchburg, TN. Home of Jack Daniel's Distillery. Only a 45 minute drive from Huntsville.
  • Guntersville, AL.This town on Lake Guntersville is a popular weekend retreat for Huntsvillians. About a 40 minute drive from Huntsville on US 431 South.
  • Decatur, AL. Home of "America's First Wave Pool" at Point Mallard Park.
  • Florence, AL
  • Scottsboro, AL Home of the "Unclaimed Baggage Center." Much of the world's unclaimed airline luggage ends up here, for sale to the public in grossly oversized "luxury" thrift store.

Farther away- all are a 1 1/2-2 hour drive.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

Huntsville, Alabama
—  City  —
Nickname(s): "Rocket City"
Coordinates: 34°42′49″N 86°35′10″W / 34.71361°N 86.58611°W / 34.71361; -86.58611
Country United States
State Alabama
Counties Madison, Limestone
Government
 - Mayor Loretta Spencer
Area
 - City 174.4 sq mi (451.8 km2)
 - Land 174 sq mi (450.8 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
Elevation 600 ft (193 m)
Population (2006)[1]
 - City 168,132
 Density 963.8/sq mi (372.14/km2)
 Metro 368,661
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 35800–35899
Area code(s) 256
Website http://www.hsvcity.com/

Huntsville is a city located in the north of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is located in Madison County. It extends west into Limestone county. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County.[2] The 2000 census showed that Huntsville has a population of 158,216 people. In 2009, the population grew to 179,653. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was estimated at 406,316.[1]

John Hunt first settled in Huntsville in 1805. The town was named Twickenham after Alexander Pope's home town at the request of Leroy Pope.[3] However, the town was renamed to "Huntsville" on November 25, 1811. It has grown across nearby hills and along the Tennessee River. It has textile mills and also munitions factories. Also located in this city are NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.[4]

Contents

History

First settlers

Huntsville is named after John Hunt. He was the first settler of the land around the Big Spring Park. However, Hunt did not correctly register his claim. The area was purchased by Leroy Pope, who imposed the name Twickenham on the area to honour the home village of his kinsman Alexander Pope.

Twickenham was carefully planned. The streets were built from the northeast to southwest direction based on the Big Spring (see images below). However, due to anti-English feeling during the War of 1812, the town name was changed to Huntsville to honour John Hunt, who had been forced to move to other land south of the new city.

Both John Hunt and Leroy Pope were Freemasons and charter members of Helion Lodge.[5]

Incorporation 1811

In 1811, Huntsville became the first official town in Alabama. However, the recognized "birth" year of the city is 1805. This was the year of John Hunt's arrival. The city's sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955 and the bicentennial was celebrated in 2005.

Emerging industries

Huntsville's quick growth was generated by the cotton and railroad industries. Many rich planters moved to the area from Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. The forty-four delegates who met in Huntsville wrote a constitution for the new state of Alabama. The new state constitution said that Huntsville is Alabama's first capital. This was temporary for one legislative session only. The capital was then moved to another temporary location, Cahawba, until the legislature selected Montgomery as the permanent location.

In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was built through Huntsville. It became the first railway to link the Atlantic coast with the lower Mississippi River.

Civil War

File:Huntsville AL USA 1871 Birds Eye
Bird's Eye View of 1871 Huntsville, Alabama.

Huntsville firstly opposed secession from the Union in 1861, but provided many men for the state's defense. The 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, led by Col. Egbert J. Jones of Huntsville, fought at the Battle of Manassas. It was the first major battle of the American Civil War. The Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war. Eight generals of the war were born in or near Huntsville.

File:Child workers in Huntsville,
Child workers at Merrimac Mills in Huntsville, November 1910, photographed by Lewis Hine.

After the Civil War

After the Civil War, Huntsville became a center for cotton textile mills, such as Lincoln, Dallas and Merrimack. Each mill had its own housing community. It included everything the mill workers needed (schools, churches, grocery stores, theatres, and hardware stores, all within walking distance of the mill).

Great Depression 1930s

During the 1930s, industry decreased in Huntsville because of the Great Depression. Huntsville became known as the Watercress Capital of the World[6] because of its harvest in the area. Madison County produced most cotton in Alabama during this time.[6]

World War II

By 1940, Huntsville was still a small quiet town with a population of only 13,150 inhabitants. This quickly changed with the beginning of World War II. Huntsville was chosen as the location of Huntsville Arsenal, with chemical and munitions manufacturing plants.[7] The Arsenal was almost closed in 1949 when it was no longer needed,[8] but it saw new life when Major General Holger Toftoy with support from Senator John Sparkman convinced the U.S. Army to choose Huntsville as the location for its missile research program. In 1950, General Toftoy brought German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and his team to Redstone Arsenal to develop what would eventually become the United States' space program.[9]

Space flight

File:Rockets in Huntsville
Historic rockets in Rocket Park of the US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama.

On September 8, 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The city's nickname is "The Rocket City" for its close history with U.S. space missions. Huntsville has been important in developing space technology. Since the 1950s, when the German scientists headed by Wernher von Braun, brought to the United States at the end of World War II through Operation Paperclip, managed to develop rockets for the U.S. Army. Their work included designing a rocket, that carried the first U.S. satellite and astronauts into space.[10]

[[File:|thumb|left|Space Shuttle Pathfinder at Space Camp.]]

The Saturn V, used by the Apollo program manned Moon missions, was developed at Marshall Space Flight Center. Huntsville continues to play an important role in the United States' Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

Huntsville's economy was nearly crippled and growth came to a near standstill in the 1970s following the closure of the Apollo program. The emergence of the Space Shuttle and the ever-expanding field of missile defense in the 1980s helped give Huntsville a resurgence that has continued into the 21st century.

References

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