By Scott Turner
Historic Huntsville Foundation Executive Director Donna Castellano is playing a key role in preserving the city’s history at a time of record growth.
As new buildings go up every month throughout Alabama’s largest city, Castellano and the organization she leads seek to keep historic buildings still standing and preserve neighborhoods as they were in the periods they were constructed.
“I like the idea of saving buildings, recognizing the history that happened in buildings as a way to tell the history of the period in which they were built,” she said.
And telling those stories, she said, is a way of telling the story of Huntsville itself. And it’s an evolving story. Castellano uses the Harrison Brothers building – which the foundation owns – as an example of how Huntsville’s story is evolving.
“We’ve told the story for 30 years, that this was a building that was owned and operated by Daniel and James Harrison,” she said. “It was established by them. Six months ago, we learned that it was actually built by Daniel Brandon. We have an old building, but there is a new voice. We get to tell that story in this building.”