Landmarks Foundation Comes Out Against RSA Building

The Montgomery Landmarks Foundation held a specially-called meeting Monday to officially oppose the latest building project by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. Board members approved a resolution, which encourages the RSA to come up with a redesign.

In an effort to save the old state supreme court building on Dexter Avenue, the RSA recently announced it would encapsulate the building inside a larger 12-story office complex. The RSA stands behind its $200-million project.

But Landmarks members say the building is too tall and too close to Dexter, violating new city building codes. They also worry the building will dwarf the historic capitol, "an iconic symbol of the state." It will also tower over Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached.

Landmarks will send the resolution to Mayor Bobby Bright and Governor Bob Riley in hopes they will convince the RSA to alter its design. In previous WSFA 12 News reports, however, city officials have appeared reluctant to do so.

Landmarks is Montgomery's most prominent advocate of historic preservation. It crated and continues to operate Old Alabama Town, a living history museum of restored homes and buildings in downtown.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama is in charge of investing the pensions of thousands of retired state employees. It has built other well-received office complexes, hotels and golf courses around the state.