For those of us who either live in or grew up in a small town, the following article shows that innovative design can truly happen anywhere as long as the community is behind it.
Driving along Alabama’s State Route 61 is like a journey through the land that time forgot. Past catfish ponds and rolling pastures, the highway pauses for a moment where it swells to form downtown Newbern (population 189), a rustic collection of warehouses and storefronts from the turn of the last century. But over the last couple of decades, Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design-build program, which is based here, has left its mark, erecting a fire station and other structures. For its latest endeavor, the school has transformed a diminutive masonry bank building into a modern, 1,600-square-foot library—Newbern’s first—that maintains the local down-home spirit while providing an inviting community resource.
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