Montgomery, Alabama

M ontgomery is the capital city of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city of 200,000 is located beside the Alabama River, in the south-central part of the state. Steeped in history, Montgomery was first incorporated in 1819, became the state capital in 1846, and the first capital of the Confederate States of America in 1861, before the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia that same year. In the middle of the 20th century, the city was a major center of the events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches. In this new century, after years of deterioration, Montgomery has become nationally recognized for its downtown revitalization and new urbanism projects. “Like a lot of mid-size cities in the country, Montgomery went through a downtown decline in the 1970s and ‘80s, when a lot of our major department stores left the urban core,” explains Lois Cortell, the city’s Senior Development Manager. “By the early 2000s, though, the civic and business leaders were sparking a turnaround with major public, catalytic investments like our Riverwalk Amphitheater, our Riverwalk Baseball Stadium, and our Riverfront Park. And those major investments sparked our downtown’s rebirth.” “But what’s key now, in 2020, it’s no longer about the public dollars,” Cortell continues. “We are pretty clear that there is privately-driven AT A GLANCE MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA WHAT: A city of 200,000 WHERE: In Montgomery County in south-central Alabama WEBSITE: A new future awaits ery, M A