Gardendale Civic Complex

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Civic Complex
Senior Center

The Gardendale Civic Complex is located on Main Street across from Gardendale High School. It occupies approximately ten acres of land and was constructed on the former site of the Virgil Allen Howard homestead.

An outdoor ampitheater with seating and a covered pavilion is located in the center of the complex. The complex also has a 0.5 mile walking/running track that surrounds the property. The annual Magnolia Festival is held on the grounds each year.

On March 9, 2016 the Gardendale City Council approved the renaming of Civic Complex Drive to Larry York Drive, in honor of the seven-term former city council member Larry York.

Buildings in the complex

Text on the plaque describing the former Howard homeplace:

Virgil Allen Howard, who was born in South Carolina in 1859, came to Alabama in 1884 seeking employment with the Alabama Waterworks. He and Ollie Grace Hogan were married on July 15, 1903 and made their first home in Gardendale on property they purchased on Old Mount Olive Road. The Howards later bought land on Main Street and became active members of Gardendale's First Baptist Church. Virgil Allen Howard served as Justice of the Peace for 18 years and was a trustee for the Gardendale School. Virgil Allen Howard died in 1955 and Grace Hogan Howard died in 1963. Their descendants continue to live in and contribute to the growth of Gardendale. The Howard Homeplace is now the site of the Gardendale Civic Complex.

The plaque is located near the front of the complex adjacent to Millennium Park.