Historic Alabama Bells by Thomas Kaufmann
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Join us for a lunchtime talk with Thomas Kaufman, the author of Historic Alabama Bells. He will explore what we can learn about Alabama history through the stories of its historic bells.
After seven years of climbing into attics, domes, towers and steeples, Thomas Kaufmann emerges with a story of Alabama bells that encapsulates the history of the state itself. These bells--some dormant, others pealing still--were forged by the Reveres in Boston. They called Alabamians to worship, celebrated weddings and tolled at funerals. They sounded the death knell for countless parishioners during the havoc of the Civil War, watched over the Freedom Riders and shook from the blast of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. And while their clear tones have rung out in remembrance of so many of the state's solemn and sacred moments, many of these bells have fallen into neglect, their silence serving as its own reminder of the urgent need for preservation.
Thomas Kaufmann is an architectural historian and preservationist, and is the Library Supervisor of the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science Library at Tuskegee University; prior to his appointment as Library Supervisor, he was a full-time faculty member in Architecture at Tuskegee, teaching Architectural Studio, Architectural History, and Historic Preservation. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University in 1988, and a Certificate in Classical Architecture from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, New York City, in 1992, where Mr. Kaufmann has had the pleasure of serving as a Fellow Emeritus of the Institute for several years. He lives in a Craftsman Bungalow in Montgomery with his wife, Ann Marie, and their son, Tommy.