Lasting Legacy: TURNERBATSON Celebrates 100 Years of Pioneering Architectural Design

Dave Reese

Principal Architect, President

March 11, 2024

TURNERBATSON was recently highlighted in Over The Mountain Journal.

Lasting Legacy: TURNERBATSON Celebrates 100 Years of Pioneering Architectural Design

Article Written by Anne Ruisi at Over The Mountain Journal

TurnerBatson Architects – the firm that designed Birmingham landmarks such as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Trinity United Methodist Church and the Hollywood section of Homewood – is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

“It is very rewarding to drive around town to see the lasting legacy of our firm. The relationships and friendships developed along the way are the ultimate reward,” said the firm’s president, Dave Reese.

Since its inception in 1924, TurnerBatson Architects has been involved in some of the most significant architectural design projects in Alabama, according to a company news release. These include hundreds of projects throughout the Over the Mountain area, including schools, health care facilities, churches, office buildings and civic projects.

The firm was begun by George P. Turner, whose foundational work established a standard of excellence. Turner’s work included estate homes in Mountain Brook; neighborhood development, including the Hollywood section of Homewood; and landmark churches, such as East Lake Methodist Church and Trinity United Methodist.

Fifties Expansion

In the 1950s, Edgar Batson married George Turner’s daughter and joined him to create the firm Turner & Batson Architects. During that time, the firm designed notable projects, including East Lake Hospital and Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, and more than 200 church and institutional projects. 

Edgar Batson’s son, Rick Batson, joined the firm in the 1970s, becoming the third-generation leader of the family business. Significant projects during that time included the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Hunter Street Baptist Church and many projects at Alabama universities. 

When Rick Batson retired in 2017, leadership transitioned to the “fourth generation” of partners, longtime partners Reese and Eric Berg, who is the firm’s vice president. As the firm continues to design landmark projects, Reese and Berg want to honor those who helped reach this milestone achievement.

“We are standing on the shoulders of some amazing leaders and talented architects and interior designers who have significantly impacted the design profession over the past 100 years,” Reese said. “We are so grateful for the chance to collaborate with our clients and continue to enhance this significant legacy.” 

Reese said relationships developed throughout the years with clients, engineer partners, general contractors and other design professionals has been one of the most rewarding parts of the firm’s longevity. 

“We are honored by our past and excited about our future,” Reese said. “We cherish the chance to continue to make a significant impact in the built environment, honor our faith and surround ourselves with great people.”

Recent Projects

Recent TurnerBatson projects include the University of Alabama’s Tutwiler Residence Hall, UA’s Bryce Main renovations and Performing Arts Academic Center, Highlands College in Birmingham, the Trussville Entertainment District, Mountain Brook Junior High School, multiple projects with Jefferson County Schools, and other educational, senior care, medical, commercial and church projects. 

The Mountain Brook Junior High renovation project was one Reese said was very personal to him. 

“It was a career highlight to help re-envision this important school and know that my three kids will get to enjoy the efforts of a great team,” Reese, a Mountain Brook resident, said. 

Work on the project included demolishing the original one-story facility and replacing it with a three-story, Tudor-inspired design that connects and unifies the facility. The design included a turret at the entry drive to integrate with the historic neighborhood.

Reese reflected on what he called “one of our most impactful recent projects” at Highlands College.

“The college purchased the original HealthSouth campus and transformed it into a remarkable place to train and nurture young ministry students. We were challenged and inspired by the vision of the leadership team. The campus is a very special place and a tribute to God’s work in all of our lives,” he said.

After 100 years, church work is still an important part of the TurnerBatson portfolio. The firm is working on a major campus renovation at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, which includes the original chapel building designed by company founder George Turner.

“Our designs are intended to reflect and enhance the culture and personality of our clients. Our business legacy has been based on our desire to provide exceptional service and thoughtful, intentional design. In term of design trends, I think we are placing an even stronger focus on developing a sense of place that feels unique and personal to our clients,” Reese said.

As TurnerBatson begins its second century, Reese said the firm is optimistic about its future.

“We are excited about the next 100 years! Our team is exceptional, and we are honored to be working with some very special clients. We think the future looks very bright,” he said.

  • Copy of MBJH Exterior
  • Mountain Brook Estate Home TURNERBATSON
  • Hollywood Home TURNERBATSON