Beasley Allen Law Firm was presented with the annual James L. Loeb Preservation Award by the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery on Thursday evening, Sept. 6. The award recognizes the firm’s contributions to preserving Montgomery’s historic resources and heritage, specifically capitalizing on the distinctive architectural character of lower Commerce Street. The award was presented during the group’s Preservation Awards Reception.
Beasley Allen has invested millions in historic preservation and revitalization of downtown Montgomery, including purchasing and renovating historic buildings along Commerce Street. Commerce Street, a jewel of downtown, was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1979 with boundary expansions in 1982 and 1987.
Beasley Allen’s founder, Jere Beasley, and his law partner Greg Allen joined the City of Montgomery in the development and creation of the downtown Alley Entertainment District area, which connects Commerce Street across from the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center with Tallapoosa Street. They opened Alley Station in 2009, which serves as an anchor for the Alley. While preserving the area’s architecture and charm, Alley Station serves as home to the Equal Justice Initiative’s Ticket Booth, Jalapeños (Mexican-style restaurant), Sazas (Italian restaurant), the Warehouse (event venue), The Flats (loft-style apartments), The Rooftop Terrace (rooftop garden event venue) and the Ballroom (event venue).
“Our law firm was honored to have been selected for this award,” said Beasley. “It is very important to preserve buildings, monuments and other physical locations from earlier times because they bring life to a shared history that we can reflect on with fondness, and remember lessons learned from past mistakes. Beasley Allen has been blessed with resources that have allowed us to restore tangible connections to Montgomery’s past.”
The award’s namesake, James Loeb, was a World War II veteran and founded Loeb & Company, Inc., a cotton exchange business, in Montgomery in 1969 after working in the business for more than 20 years. Loeb was committed to making Montgomery, both the community and civic life, all it could be and had a deep passion for historic preservation. In 1967, he established the Landmarks Foundation to foster, encourage and lead the historic preservation movement in Montgomery. He also founded what is now Old Alabama Town and served as its president for many years.
“It’s been great to see the transformation of Montgomery’s downtown area over the years and we are glad Beasley Allen has been able to be part of that transformation,” said Allen. “We enjoy the revitalization projects because they allow us to restore the beauty of once-forgotten landmarks. The result is a renewed purpose and more foot traffic that contributes to the local economy.”
The Landmarks Foundation established the award last year, as well as the Mary Ann Neeley Historic Preservation Award, which acknowledges individuals who made similar contributions to preserving Montgomery’s history and artifacts. This year’s Mary Ann Neeley Historic Preservation Award winner is Rod Frazer.