Horace King – American Architect

In celebration of Black History Month February 2021, we wanted to highlight the life of Horace King, an American architect, engineer, and builder of covered bridges.

In keeping with our purpose to educate and promote quality planning, preservation, and conservation of the Concord Covered Bridge Historic District area, we encourage you to read the story of this gentleman’s valuable contribution the American landscape.  Horace King was the most respected bridge builder of the 19th century Deep South, constructing dozens of bridges in in west Georgia, Alabama, and northeast Mississippi from the 1830s until the 1880s.  He constructed massive town lattice truss bridges over nearly every major river from the Oconee in Georgia to the Tombigbee in Mississippi and at nearly every crossing of the Chattahoochee River from Carroll County to Fort Gaines.

Although King was born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation in 1807, Horace King rose to become a prolific architect, real estate developer, and Alabama state legislator.  The story of his accomplishments and valuable contributions are legendary and well highlighted in https://archinect.com/features/article/150142291/the-story-of-horace-king-slave-turned-architect

In particular, his contribution to the Georgia landscape is well covered by the New Georgia Encyclopedia in an entry by John S Lupold and Thomas L. French, of Columbus: https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/horace-king-1807-1885


King’s Cantilever Staircase, Alabama State Capitol

King’s Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge, Woodbury, Georgia (Library of Congress)

Horace King, Alabama Department of Archives and History


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