George Ward, former mayor of Birmingham, designed Sibyl Temple as a replica of the Temple of Sibyl in Tivoli, Italy, near Rome. It was the garden gazebo of his Vestavia estate for which the City is named. In his garden it was the entrance to a bird sanctuary and it was the scene of many colorful parties. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church purchased the property in 1958 and had the house demolished in 1971, but spared the Temple, donating it to the Vestavia Hills Garden Club.
In 1976, the Vestavia Hills Garden Club had Harbert Construction Corporation relocate Sibyl Temple from the former estate to the northern limit of Vestavia Hills at the crest of Shades Mountain. Placement of the Temple upon this highly visible precipice on U.S. Highway 31 established it as the symbol of the City. The Garden Club has maintained the Temple as a special project since then. The Temple appears in the official seal of Vestavia Hills.
In 1985, the Temple was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks, and the sign bearing the State seal was installed to the site in 2008. In 2015, the City was awarded a grant from the Alabama Historical Association to assist with the restoration of the Temple.
Would you like to be a part of Sibyl Temple history?
Purchase a brick at Sibyl Temple to honor a loved one, celebrate a special event or simply memorialize your love for Vestavia Hills. Your brick purchase helps to fund the restoration and maintenance of this iconic landmark of the City. To purchase a brick, download and complete the Sibyl Temple Buy-a-Brick Campaign Form or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.