The North Alexander School was built by widely-acclaimed architect R.H. Hunt.
Reuben Harrison Hunt was born on February 2, 1862 in Elbert County, GA. He moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1882 and began working as a builder and carpenter for the Adams Brothers Architectural firm while studying architecture. By 1886 he had begun his own firm, Hunt and McDaniel, whose first large commission was the First Baptist Church in Chattanooga.
Hunt is responsible for designing many of the major buildings in downtown Chattanooga, including the Hamilton County Courthouse, the Carnegie Library, the Tivoli Theatre, and the Memorial Auditorium. One indication of his importance is that between 1895 and 1935, all major government buildings constructed in Chattanooga were designed by Hunt. In 1938, the Federal Building was named by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 150 best-designed buildings in the United States since World War I. Hunt's buildings still dominate the Chattanooga architectural landscape.
Hunt's buildings also dot the skylines of many American cities, and he designed an estimated 400-500 structures in the South. He worked in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. He designed the Courthouse and Baptist church in Elberton, and designing churches was one of his specialties (some of which he reportedly designed for free).
Hunt is responsible for many churches, courthouses, and educational buildings and "Graded Schools" throughout the South, including the North Alexander School in Washington, Georgia. He designed buildings for Baylor College, Waco, TX; Stonewall Jackson Institute, Abington, VA; and Alexandria Hall-Louisiana College, Pineville, LA. He also designed several elementary and secondary schools in Chattanooga, Many of his designs reflect the popular styles of his day. Most remaining schools and churches are the Gothic Revival style, with the North Alexander School being one of the rare remaining examples of his early Romanesque-influenced designs.
Hunt's last major project was the Federal Courthouse and Post Office in Chattanooga (1930-1933). He designed this building in collaboration with the New York firm of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. The building brought Hunt national recognition and in 1938 it was listed by the American Institute of Architects as one of the top 150 buildings constructed in the United States after World War I.
Hunt died on May 27, 1938 in Chattanooga, TN.