Freeman Andress

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Freeman Bradley Andress (born December 10, 1922 in Birmingham; died February 2, 2002 in Birmingham) was the vice president of Birmingham Landmarks and owner of Crestline Flower Shop and Birmingham Wedding Chapel.


Andress was born to Frank S. Andress and Tommie Sue Daniel Andress of Birmingham in 1922. Tommie was the eldest surviving child of Freeman Daniel, interim mayor of Avondale, for whom she named her son. Frank and Tommie had named an earlier son Freeman Daniel Andress in honor of her father, but he died as a toddler.

Andress attended South Highland Elementary School and Woodlawn High School. He later served in the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet during World War II. After his return home to Birmingham, he started Crestline Flower Shop in 1951, running it for many years. In the 1980s, after leaving the flower business, Andress purchased the former First Wesleyan Church and turned it into Birmingham Wedding Chapel.

After the death of his uncle, former Birmingham lawyer and Birmingham-Southern College professor F. Bozeman Daniel, in 1979, Andress, along with his sister Charlotte and brother Thomas, established the F. Bozeman Daniel Memorial Scholarship at Birmingham-Southern in his honor.

Andress was an early member of the Alabama Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS), which maintained the Wurlitzer theatre organ at the Alabama Theatre. When the Alabama began its series of classic movies in the mid-1980's, Andress was among the many ATOS members who acted as volunteers during the shows. Andress primarily worked as a ticket taker at the front door. He continued doing this for over a decade, welcoming thousands of visitors to the Alabama.

After ATOS assumed the mortgage of the Alabama in 1987, the group decided to establish a separate organization, Birmingham Landmarks, to own and run the Alabama. To help establish a separation between the two, they wished for the Landmarks officers to be different from the ATOS ones. To this end, they asked Andress to become Vice President, as although he was a long-time member of the local ATOS chapter, he had never held an elected position within it.

In 1994, Andress agreed to sell Birmingham Wedding Chapel to Metropolitan Covenant Community Church, which wished to use it as a church once again if they could raise the funds, which they did. According to a church minister speaking at Andress' memorial service, at the conclusion of the sale Andress wrote out a check for the amount of the purchase back to the church as a donation.

Andress made several donations to Birmingham Landmarks, including five Louis XV-style chandeliers from the original Tutwiler Hotel. These were originally intended to be installed in the Lyric Theatre after its eventual restoration, but as the style did not match the Lyric's interior, they were used in the Hill Arts Center instead. Andress also donated a pipe organ he had originally purchased for installation in Birmingham Wedding Chapel.

After many months of failing health, Andress died peacefully at home on February 2, 2002. Having neither a wife nor children, the majority of his estate was left to Birmingham Landmarks. A special memorial service was held at the Alabama Theatre on March 24, 2002. Andress donated his body to UAB for research. Approximately one year later, his ashes were interred at Oak Hill Cemetery.


  • Andress, Freeman Bradley obituary. (March 20, 2002). The Birmingham News.
  • Scholarships. (2001). Birmingham Southern College. Accessed September 5, 2007.
  • Hill Arts Center > About Us. (2008). Birmingham Landmarks. Accessed July 15, 2009.