Down an unassuming avenue in Montgomery’s historic Old Cloverdale Neighborhood sits the home of a couple whose writings brought the Roaring Twenties to life.
The single-family home was once the retreat of none other than F. Scott and Zelda Fitzerald, literary giants of the early 20th century and key members of the artistic cohort known as the Lost Generation. These writers and artists, disillusioned with war life, largely settled in Paris as expats and lived out their days working in left-bank cafés. It was after the war, however, that the Fitzgeralds would return to Alabama after their years in France and settle in Zelda’s native city of Montgomery.
The couple resided at Felder Avenue home from 1931 to 1932 while they penned their respective novels Tender is the Night and Save Me The Waltz. Although, the novel most associated with the Fitzgerald name is none other than F. Scott’s The Great Gatsby, the soaring achievement of his career and considered by many to be the quintessential novel of the Jazz Age.
“The Fitzgerald Museum is the only museum dedicated to the lives and legacies of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in the world,” explains Alaina M. Doten, who became the Executive Director of the museum in 2019. For her, the museum is deeply personal: “My grandmother remembered Zelda and knew her mother Minnie Sayre, and I grew up hearing stories about Zelda and the Sayres. To help preserve their histories is an honor.”
The Fitzergeralds were the last family to inhabit the house as a whole, and shortly after it was converted to apartments. The home was saved from demolition in the 1980s and was subsequently transformed into The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum. Today, visitors can browse the home’s preserved 20th-century style and view many personal items from the couple such as letters, photographs, and first-edition copies of their books.
Looking for a place to stay after soaking up a day’s worth of literary history? The second floor of the museum boasts two Airbnb suites, The Zelda Suite and Scott Suite, a wonderful opportunity for Fitzgerald fans to immerse themselves in even more of the home’s historical significance. It’s also the only site on the Southern Literary Trail open to the public for overnight stays.
The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum hosts an annual literary contest for high school and undergraduate students, and Season 3 of the museum’s FitzTales Podcast is currently underway. You can visit the museum Thursday-Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm, or Wednesday by appointment.
Learn more about the museum’s offerings and stay updated on upcoming events here.