After Ward's death, the house, something of a tourist stop near the highway between Birmingham and Montgomery, was used as a tea-room and reception hall before being sold to Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. The church met in the temple structure for several years before demolishing it in 1971 to make way for a larger building. The gazebo was relocated by the garden club to a prominent outcropping closer to the highway to serve as a landmark gateway into the community.
The development of Vestavia Hills as a residential suburb began in 1946 when developer Charles Byrd planned a subdivision for approximately 1,000 persons on the gently sloping southern flank of Shades Mountain. It was incorporated as a separate city on November 8, 1950 and has since grown, by rapid development and annexation, into a thriving city.
Visit the local Chamber of Commerce.