Author Topic: Birmingham's Railroad Park  (Read 3782 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Birmingham's Railroad Park
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:00:39 AM »
Birmingham's Railroad Park



Some would have gone to Disney or Vegas to get away from the stress of everyday life; not so for us. My wife and I took the opportunity to use a pair of frequent-flyer tickets to visit our old hometown.  Birmingham is a place of beginning for us - we started our married life here, had our first jobs here, owned our first home here and gave birth to our first child here. Often compared unfavorably to other metropolitan southern cities, anyone who has spent considerable time in Birmingham would agree that it is a progressive city with a unique sense of pride; acknowledging a troubled past while celebrating its old world charm. There is an appreciation for style and beauty in everything they do.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-apr-birminghams-railroad-park

Noone

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 07:26:21 AM »
Doug, enjoyed your column. Makes me realize that the rapids of Hogans Creek can become an exciting part of the urban experience  in Dist.7 with the key positioning of some concrete chunks. Your enthusiasm and willingness to explore a situation in its most challenging state as opposed to its optimum pleasurable state contributes to a 24/7 experience that can be created given the tidal challenges that everyone will experience on our river Downtown.

The Skiles team makes it happen. 

Ocklawaha

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 07:40:05 AM »
Very cool, but unless Jacksonville wakes up and cleans up it's act, Hogan's Creek "rapids" will remain a great place to sit on a mud bank and watch the sludge muffins float past...

OCKLAWAHA

johnnyroadglide

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 07:50:11 AM »
Doug, thats a great story and sounds like a great place to visit. Where in Jacksonville could something similar be built?
Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon).

vicupstate

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 08:03:25 AM »
^^ Hogan's Creek/Confederate Park-Klutho Park.   The McCoy's Creek corridor also.

There are already plans to make a green necklace around DT that includes all of the above areas.

But making that plan a reality will cost money, and it is far more important to keep taxes and spending at the lowest levels possible.  So you can forget ever seeing it happen in Jax.  
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

dougskiles

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 08:13:44 AM »
Yes, I agree - Hogans Creek/Confederate Park is the ideal place.  Several things intrigued me about Railroad Park that could also be accomplished in Jacksonville:

1.  Instead of running from the industrial past, they embraced it by bring the railroad INTO the experience.  What we seem to do is want to tear down the reminders of our past industries.  The way that Hogans Creek runs past Maxwell House and into the Shipyards should be a celebrated feature and would engage people with these industrial elements - and our heritage.

2.  Railroad Park is situated to be accessible to many demographic groups.  UAB has a world class medical school and is only a few blocks away (as is Shands from the north end of Hogans Creek).  Railroad Park is also within walking distance from the urban core - as is Hogans Creek.  There are/were blighted areas surrounding Railroad Park that are being redeveloped - same potential exists with Hogans Creek.

3.  The PRIVATE in the Public/Private Partnership is what made this park happen.  It wasn't until they had raised a considerable amount of money that the city took notice and jumped on the cause.  We have to do the same with Hogans Creek.  Complaining about our city government's lack of vision won't make this happen.  Citizens with a passion for improving our quality of life will make it happen.

johnnyroadglide

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 08:23:41 AM »
That looks like a nice location except there are not trains to sit and watch. Personally I'd like a spot with a raised walkway like that Birmingham park where the trains roll be and you can watch them.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 08:45:40 AM »
Yes, I agree - Hogans Creek/Confederate Park is the ideal place.  Several things intrigued me about Railroad Park that could also be accomplished in Jacksonville:

1.  Instead of running from the industrial past, they embraced it by bring the railroad INTO the experience.  What we seem to do is want to tear down the reminders of our past industries.  The way that Hogans Creek runs past Maxwell House and into the Shipyards should be a celebrated feature and would engage people with these industrial elements - and our heritage.


It even LOOKS like Hogan's Creek!

As far as our railroad history goes, we had a interlocking (control) tower east of the Jacksonville Terminal, but we tore it down. We had a tower at Myrtle Avenue, but we tore it down for a useless convention center. We had a really busy tower at Beaver Street but it's gone too. We had a roundhouse where TTX sits today, no more roundhouse. We had the worlds largest railway express station and I watched them rip it down for JTA's HQ. We had a roundhouse in Springfield east of Liberty but it too is gone. We had the major repair shops for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, but we tore them down. We had another roundhouse at McDuff Avenue, but it went down with the shops... We had the largest railroad station south of Washington D.C. but we closed it, plan to "remodel" it with modern add-ons, dig out the tunnels, and we wrecked the old platforms...

ANYTHING ELSE fall to the wrecking ball? 0h hell, I'm sure we can find something.


OCKLAWAHA

dougskiles

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 08:51:07 AM »
^Ock - where is that photo taken from?

I know it is a little farther away from Hogans Creek - but we haven't torn down the old Ford Motor Plant yet.

tufsu1

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 09:19:12 AM »
San Antonio's Riverwalk

letters and numbers

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 09:12:57 AM »
hey you know its something so simple but h2o makes everything look better  the birmingham park is nice work

I-10east

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 10:23:27 PM »
The park is nice and all, but I still think it's a big stretch to call B-Ham a 'progressive' city esp. it being a mid-sized city that folks are leaving instead of coming to live (recent over 30,000 population loss). The entire state seems like it's losing population. Just keepin' in real, and not sugarcoating.  

dougskiles

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 05:03:35 AM »
I wasn't using the term 'progressive' to mean 'progressing in population size'.  I also did not mean it in the same way democrats are using 'progressive' to replace 'liberal' either.

I meant it in terms of 'progressive' ways of doing things.  But you probably would need to visit (with an open mind) to understand.  Certainly, it is not a place for everyone.

I-10east

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Re: Birmingham's Railroad Park
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 07:19:03 AM »
I went to Alabama Adventure in nearby Bessemer, AL last year. It's a nice small park with a great wooden coaster. I can't say that I've seen what the big city (B ham) has to offer.