A timeline of Julia Tutwiler Hall on the University of Alabama campus

Ken Roberts
The Tuscaloosa News

Here's a look at the history of Julia Tutwiler Hall on the University of Alabama campus and the woman who inspired the building's name:

• Aug. 15, 1841: Julia Tutwiler is born in Tuscaloosa, third of eleven children. She would grow up to become an a writer, educator, prison reformer and a fierce proponent of education for women. Her father, Henry Tutwiler, was one of the first professors at the University of Alabama, serving as its chair of ancient languages, in the early 1830s. He was also a strong force for women's education.

• 1893: Tutwiler lobbies the UA board of trustees to allow the admittance of female students. After trustees were persuaded, the first women to attend UA were Bessie Parker and Anna Adams, in 1897. For helping the first 10 women gain admission to UA, Tutwiler became known as the "mother of co-education in Alabama." Those 10 were former students of hers when Tutwiler was co-president of Livingston Female Academy and State Normal School (later to become the University of West Alabama), its first and only woman president. In her education career, Tutwiler also helped establish what is now the University of Montevallo.

Julia Tutwiler

• 1914: The first Tutwiler Hall was built on the UA campus roughly where the Rose Administration Building now stands. The first Tutwiler Hall was demolished in the late 1960s.

• March 24, 1916: Tutwiler dies, of cancer, in Birmingham. She was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame (1953) and the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame at Judson College (1970).

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• 1931: Tutwiler's poem "Alabama" is immortalized as the lyrics to the official state song. The music was composed by Edna Gockel Gussen, an organist and choirmaster from Birmingham.

• 1968: The second iteration of Tutwiler Hall opens across from UA's football stadium at 901 10th St., which has been renamed Paul W. Bryant Drive. The building has 13 floors, although there was no 13th floor. Elevators skipped from floor 12 to floor 14 because of superstition. The building’s most recent bed capacity was 1,000.

Demolition of the Julia Tutwiler Hall on the University of Alabama campus has begun as workers are removing debris from behind the building Friday, July 2, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

• June 2019: Construction begins on the third iteration for Tutwiler Hall after a comprehensive evaluation of the second Tutwiler Hall determined that a renovation would not be cost-effective. UA committed to building the new Tutwiler Hall next to the old building. The new Tutwiler Hall will remain an all-women residence hall that primarily houses freshmen. 

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• July 4, 2022: At 7 a.m., UA will detonate about 675 pounds of dynamite, which has been placed in about 2,000 holes drilled in Tutwiler Hall's structural columns. UA officials say the building will come down in about 20 seconds after detonation. UA will offer livestream video of Tutwiler Hall's implosion at news.ua.edu/tutwiler.

May 18, 2022; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Construction work continues on the New Tutwiler dormitory building on the campus of the University of Alabama. Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News

• August 2022: The new Tutwiler Hall will open in August at the northeast corner of 10th Avenue and 12th Street. The new building will have a bed capacity of 1,284 and will feature state-of-the-art furnishings and amenities, with a hybrid community-apartment style setup of double-capacity bedrooms. Each room will feature two twin beds with a shared private bathroom. The building will also feature public community spaces with TVs and whiteboards, outdoor social spaces, laundry rooms on each floor, a fitness area, craft room and large storm shelter, which will also serve as a multipurpose room.  The outdoor space will also feature a Tutwiler Promenade with personalized pavers purchased by alumni and friends. 

Reach Ken Roberts at ken.roberts@tuscaloosanews.com.