Circa 1976 Creem Magazine Office and Reading Room To Become a Permanent Exhibit
Popular demand of our Creem Magazine archives by the public, researchers, filmmakers, and rock historians has resulted in a logical conclusion that we need to 'bring Creem back!' After the 2014 Sounds of Birmingham exhibit was uninstalled, the interest in Creem seemed to only intensify. To help bring the collection closer to visitors and researchers, we will re-create the Creem offices in a permanent exhibit and create a study station as well as an expanded display of our artifacts. We expect the exhibit to be ready some time this summer.
1927 Barnum School Flint Faience & Tile Storybook Fireplace
Like many elementary schools of the era, Birmingham’s Barnum Elementary had a hearth-centered reading area for young children. Art tile potteries of the period specialized in designs that featured childhood themes and nursery rhyme characters, and are commonly called “storybook” tile fireplaces. Barnum’s was designed by the well-known Flint Faience & Tile Company, which produced glazed ceramic tile from 1922-1933. When Barnum school was demolished in 2007, the fireplace surround was carefully de-constructed and stored. In 2012, the fireplace was re-installed as a permanent exhibit at the Allen House. The project was significantly funded by the Birmingham Rotary, with additional funding by the Friends of the Birmingham Historical Museum. A complete interpretive plan will be undertaken to complete the room, which will include additional history on Birmingham’s rich educational traditions.
Step Into a 1920s to 1930s Kitchen
You can almost smell the cookies baking and feel the warmth when you experience our period kitchen room. Inspired by the Allen House’s original 1928 blueprints and Marion Allen’s color scheme, the layout and conveniences are typical of the era—practical and efficient. The mint green color was matched to the original paint layer discovered on the walls; the sink and appliances are of the period; and the cabinets and tile countertop are modern reproductions.
Off white painted cabinets with glass doors and a large wall-mounted enamel sink were common at the time, as were modern kitchen ranges such as the c. 1925 white enamel Preference. It boasted elegant slender legs, four gas burners, a single oven stacked over a broiler, and a utility drawer. Typical kitchen work tables had porcelain tops, such as this one from the Marshall Field & Company. The c. 1927 General Electric Monitor Top’s cylindrical motor was top-mounted; it had a large capacity for the time, and sold for a hefty $300. To make finance the cost, homeowners could add a monthly amount to their electric bills. Built to last, some of these gems can still be found in working order and are very popular among collectors.