For a variety of reasons—business, personal, and political—Nichols left North Carolina in 1827 to pursue his architectural and entrepreneurial endeavors in Alabama, a “frontier” state of the new “American Southwest.” As state architect, Nichols designed and built the state’s first capitol, an elaboration of his North Carolina capitol design. Heavily influenced by Jefferson’s University of Virginia, he designed and built the seven building campus of the University of Alabama. He also designed several elegant residences in Tuscaloosa and neighboring Greene County, all within a relatively short period of seven years.
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