Huntsville neighborhood may become state's first Space Age historic district

The final step for McThornmor Acres is approval by the National Park Service.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 9:49 PM
Updated: Jul 12, 2019 10:45 PM

A Huntsville neighborhood is one small step away from being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It's impossible to separate the history of McThornmor Acres and its contribution to Huntsville's space and rocket program.

If approved, the neighborhood off Holmes Avenue would become the state's first Space Age historic district. That's because some of the great minds behind the space program used to live there.

As we get ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, people who live at McThornmor Acres say it's about time the neighborhood got recognized.

"This neighborhood is an icon in Huntsville," Becky Priddy said.

She moved into McThornmor Acres last year, but her home has been part of her family since the early 1960s.

"This was my mother's home," Priddy said.

The community was first developed in the 1950s. It was home to rocket scientists, engineers and other employees that helped Huntsville become the Rocket City.

That's why the Huntsville Historic Foundation along with other city and state leaders are trying to get the neighborhood listed as a historic district on the National Register.

"It hasn't changed. Homes are as they were built. The walls are the same. Floors are the same. Everything is basically the same," Priddy said.

She says stepping inside her home is like going back in time.

"I see my mother everywhere, and it's home," Priddy said.

She plans to be part of the community for years to come.

"I intend to be here for the next 25 to 30 years," Priddy said.

She says even though the Rocket City might have changed since these houses were built, some things remain the same.

"Though it's grown, Huntsville has a hometown, loving attitude," Priddy said.

McThornmor Acres was approved to be an eligible district by the state review board. The final step is approval by the National Park Service.

McThornmor Acres will have a special meeting on Tuesday to celebrate the state approval and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. At the meeting, they will unveil the design for a new historic street sign.

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