The Harmony Club was originally built in 1909 and was operated as a social club by the Jewish community of Selma, Alabama. It is situated on a high bank that overlooks the Alabama River. The project was then headed by B.J. Schuster, a prominent merchant and later the President of the Harmony Men’s Club. The 20,000 square foot layout of the Harmony Club was given use according to the floor; the first floor operated as two retail spaces, the second floor was a restaurant up front and a Men’s Lounge in the back. The Men’s Lounge was off limits to the public back then; it had a pool table, poker games, slot machines, cigar chomping and of course the wives were never allowed, nonetheless “ladies” were occasionally allowed. The third floor operated as a ballroom that over the decades experienced many dances and parties. The club functioned for several years non-stop until the late 1930’s when it was turned into the Elks Club, where it eventually disbanded and had the building boarded up in the 1960’s.
For nearly forty years the building sat quiescent until one day when David Hurlbut — an industrial designer from Atlanta — found it on historicproperties.com and purchased it in 1999.
Mr. Hurlbut has done most of the renovation work himself — which, so far, has cost about $150,000, he said — and has taken great care to preserve the architectural details, leaving the walls unfinished, although he occasionally experiments with polyurethane paint to keep the flakes of original wall coloring from falling off the walls.