Welcome to the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion!
This magnificent Italianate house was built in 1859-1862 by Senator Robert Jemison Jr. to serve as his town house. The architect was John Stewart from Philadelphia, who along with his partner, Samuel Sloan, designed Bryce Hospital. The Jemison Mansion was incomplete when the Civil War erupted, causing many finishing touches to be left undone. Most of the building materials came from Jemison’s extensive plantations, and the majority of construction was performed by skilled slaves under the supervision of Philadelphia craftsmen. The house was ahead of its time technologically: it was the first in Tuscaloosa to have a fully plumbed bathroom and even had its own gas plant to provide gas for illumination. After serving for a period as the city library, it was acquired by the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society and the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa. A joint board was set up to oversee restoration of the house, which is ongoing.
Admission is free to the public
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