Photo by Randy and Penny Sparkman The house built for William Bradford Huie in 1960, recognized as one of the winners in the Alabama Historic Commission historic doors photo contest, stands as a testament to mid-century design and the town's cultural heritage.

Hartselle house built for William Bradford Huie among 11 winners in Alabama Historic Commission contest 

By Staff Reports  

A house built in 1960 for renowned journalist and novelist William Bradford Huie has been recognized as one of the 11 winners in the recent Alabama Historic Commission historic doors contest. The mid-century home, on the corner of Barkley and High streets, showcases the architectural vision of Walter Hall, a partner at Hall/Colvard Architects in nearby Decatur. 

The entrance to the Huie house, capturing the distinctive mid-century charm of the residence. 

Randy and Penny Sparkman, the current owners of the Huie house, said they take pride in residing in a piece of local history. The residence exemplifies the distinctive mid-century design, which continues to captivate enthusiasts of architectural heritage. Walter Hall, known for his contributions to Decatur’s skyline, including the Morgan County Courthouse, Decatur City Hall, Decatur Chamber of Commerce and Decatur Post Office, crafted this exceptional dwelling for the esteemed writer and his wife. 

Huie, a native of Hartselle, left an indelible mark on the literary and journalistic world during the mid-20th century. He gained recognition for his coverage of pivotal moments in the American civil rights movement and his extensive writings on the American military and World War II. Some of Huie’s novels even achieved silver screen success, with “The Americanization of Emily,” starring James Garner and Julie Andrews, and “The Execution of Private Slovik,” featuring Martin Sheen. 

In addition to his literary pursuits, Huie also served as a navy lieutenant during World War II and was a veteran of the Normandy invasion. Today, his legacy is commemorated through the William Bradford Huie Library, which stands as a testament to his contributions to literature and his hometown. 

The house, an enduring symbol of Huie’s connection to Hartselle, has gracefully withstood the test of time. Its sleek lines and distinctive architectural features reflect the spirit of an era that valued innovative design and functionality. The Sparkmans, fortunate to call this remarkable residence their home, have embraced the responsibility of preserving its historical integrity while incorporating modern comforts. 

The Alabama Historic Commission contest celebrates the significance of architectural treasures across the state. By recognizing the Huie house as one of the 11 winners, the commission acknowledges the cultural and historical significance of this mid-century gem. The house serves as a tangible reminder of William Bradford Huie’s impact and provides a glimpse into the architectural legacy of Walter Hall. 

Proud custodians of this storied dwelling, the Sparkmans said they are delighted that their home has received such recognition. 

As Hartselle continues to evolve, the Huie house stands as a testament to the town’s rich history and the remarkable individuals who have called it home. It serves as a reminder of the enduring power of architecture to connect us to the past and inspire future generations. 

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