Timberlake & League is a Huntsville law firm notably located downtown at the intersection of Holmes Avenue and Jefferson Street. While that may seem like just another cross-section to those unfamiliar with the historic landscape of the city, the firm’s site and building are a central part of history.
Built in 1877, the structure located at 125 Holmes Avenue represents a transitional period in Huntsville architecture. At the time, there was a noticeable shift away from Victorian-style buildings to a less elaborate commercial brick style. Architect Herbert Crowell, who arrived in Huntsville from Joliet, Illinois, was able to merge the two seamlessly. Crowell incorporated common Victorian themes like bay windows, but gave way to more modern stylings like flush lintels that spanned each bay. However, the most prominent Victorian feature was his design of the corner tower. Crowell’s design remains a perfect example of how newer styles often emerge as a twist on style predecessors. His design was also far different from other commercial buildings that once occupied the site, including a mercantile store and P & G Grocery. After designs were finalized, the building was then constructed by a Huntsville contractor, J.M. Kerr.
The newly erected building came to be named for Colonel W.F. Struve and his daughter Annie S. Hay as the Struve-Hay Building. Though there were other commercial structures built that reserved features of Victorian architecture, Struve-Hay is the only one to still be found in downtown Huntsville.
According to public records, the Struve-Hay building was remodeled in 1927. Many years later, in 1980, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Shortly after, J.T. Schrimsher Construction Company purchased the building and retained accomplished architect Harvie Jones to remodel it once again. Even still, special care was taken to maintain its historic features. That renovation was completed in 1982.
It wasn’t until the 90’s that the building became eventually became the home of what is now Timberlake & League.
Though the building has been altered since its original construction, it retains the features and qualities that allow it the designation of a preeminent turn-of-the-century design. Its continued recognition for historical and architectural value has made it a mainstay in the Huntsville community.