Arthur Brown residence

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Arthur Brown residence

The Arthur Brown residence is a large home built for surgeon Arthur Brown and his family at 319 4th Terrace North in Smithfield.

Brown, one of the first African-American physicians in Birmingham and a founder of Children's Home Hospital, contracted prominent architect Wallace Rayfield to design the house between 1907 and 1909. The three-story house was constructed for $10,000.

The house was built in the "Old English" style with stucco and wood shingles on the exterior. The main floor contains a reception room, drawing room, library, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, pantry, guest bedroom, closets and a cold-storage room. The floors and doors were constructed of oak with leaded glass in the windows and electric lighting and state-of-the-art plumbing. The second floor has three bedrooms, a nursery, servant's quarters, bathroom, linen closet, sewing room, storage room and a "palatial" den. The attic contained a reception room with dark-stained wood and pressed-fiber "Beaverboard" wall panels.

Brown's son, Dr Walter Brown, leased the residence to the Birmingham Art Club at no charge for fifty years. It then became the A. M. Brown Community Center for Arts and Crafts. More recently, it has been the home of the National Organization of Minority Architects Birmingham chapter. It is currently open for tours by appointment.

The Craftsman style cottage features the original Rayfield design intact and Dr Brown's original, turn-of-the-century furnishings.


  • Hamilton, G. P. (1911) Beacon Lights of the Race. Memphis, Tennessee: P. H. Clark & Brother, pp. 18-25
  • Satterfield, Carolyn Green (1976) Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama. Birmingham: Jefferson County Historical Commission/Gray Printing Company

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