At Windmill Station, a historic structure brings modern celebrations to life.
Story by Claire Sullivan
The venue you choose for your wedding weekend will forever be a special place for you: It’s where you’ll embark on your new life together as a married couple. And Windmill Station, a storied property in Dothan, brings more than a beautiful backdrop.
At nearly a century old, Windmill Station has seen a bevy of tenants. It was originally a facility for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and over the years it’s evolved from a biker’s club to a wrestling center to a flea market. And the property had the wear and tear (water-soaked floors, leaky roofs) to prove it when father-daughter duo Eddie and Jennifer Donaldson purchased it in 2013.
They set out with restoration – not total renovation – in mind. Eddie has a background in construction, so conserving the property was a no-brainer. And he’s been able to restore 90 percent of it, carefully salvaging wood and repurposing it wherever possible while keeping the authenticity of the space. “It was a 46,000-square-foot building with an open floor plan,” Jennifer explains. “The possibilities were endless, but the building chose its own destiny.” Now, Windmill Station houses two separate wedding venues, with each one letting the structure’s original features shine. And they’re both one-of-a-kind and rich in history.
The Boiler Room debuted first, in 2016. “It features unique wooden walls and mixed metals, giving the space an industrial backdrop,” says Jennifer. (It’s also aptly named, as it’s located adjacent to the 1930s boiler room.) The Donaldsons expected the space (which holds up to 200 guests) to sufficiently meet Dothan’s needs, but they quickly realized the community needed a bigger option, and Windmill Station had the bones to accommodate.
In 2018, they began hosting weddings in the Roosevelt, a bright and airy locale with lofty ceilings and original wood walls and beams. The name nods to the venue’s history and its new owners: Franklin D. Roosevelt was president when the building was created, and New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel is one of Jennifer’s favorites from her decade living in Manhattan.
Beyond helping couples bring their dream days to life, the Donaldsons also make a point to foster community in Dothan. Jennifer started an upcycling passion project called ReBloom in 2020. To prevent gorgeous blooms from going in the dumpster, the non-profit repurposes floral arrangements from events and gifts them to local schools, hospices, nursing homes and more in the Dothan community.
“We feel honored to play a small part in the weddings here,” says Jennifer. “When you first sit down with a couple, most of them have some idea of what they would like for their wedding and it’s just a great feeling seeing their visions come to life.”