Hugh Martin Sr

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Hugh Martin Sr (born May 11, 1874 in Paducah, Kentucky; died 1959) was an architect and partner in the firms of Miller & Martin and Miller, Martin & Lewis, responsible for the design of numerous major buildings in Birmingham and at the University of Alabama.

Martin was the son of John and Frances Dallam Martin. He studied for a year at the University of Texas in Austin, and completed his bachelor's degree in architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1894. He and Scottish-born John Martin met while working for R. H. Robertson in New York City and around 1900 decided to relocate together to Birmingham to pursue their practice. They completed a few notable buildings in Birmingham in that decade and added engineer James Lewis to the firm in 1914.

Martin married the former Ellie Gordon Robinson on November 11, 1913. The couple initially resided with her parents at 1900 14th Avenue South and their first son, Hugh Jr, who became the famed lyricist of the classic "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," was born there in 1914.

Martin's membership in Alpha Tau Omega likely led to the firm's first project in Tuscaloosa, which was a house for the fraternity's Beta Delta chapter in 1917. From 1917 to 1918 Martin served in England and France during World War I as a Captain in the Army Air Service. Martin moved his growing family to a small cottage at 1919 15th Avenue South in 1922.

After the war, Miller and Martin slowly built up their practice, reaching an apex of activity in the late 1920s and remaining active, mostly with campus work, through the Great Depression. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Martin retired from the business in 1952. He died in 1959.

Notable buildings


  • Mellown, Robert Oliver (2013) The University of Alabama: A Guide to the Campus and Its Architecture. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press ISBN 9780817356804