SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Almost There: 1936

Almost There: 1936

April 3, 1936. "Stairway leading to lookout on fifth floor -- Kenworthy Hall, State Highway 14 (Greensboro Road), Marion, Alabama." Photo by Alex Bush for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.

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Master Carpentry

One would have to look long and hard for a carpenter who could build a wooden stair like this today. A work of carpentry art, indeed.

The Rottin' South

It's a good thing these photo surveys were taken, because the climate of the deep South is not conducive to structural longevity, as most of the photos attest. All the door mouldings and jambs are shot, and the stairs up are showing signs of decay. Remarkably, the plaster looks perfect. Perhaps they were in the middle of renovations?

Still there

Fortunately, Kenworthy Hall survives to this day, in very good condition, although much of the decorative plasterwork and marble mantles were damaged, and the stained glass destroyed, by vandals during a period of vacancy in the 1950s.


Just a beautiful presentation of a classic stair. Proof that God, is indeed, in the Details. Lovely. Mies was right.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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