Author Topic: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham  (Read 6381 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« on: August 09, 2013, 03:06:28 AM »
Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham



In our quest to see how downtown Jacksonville's revitalization efforts compare nationally, Metro Jacksonville visits the core of Alabama's largest city: Birmingham

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-aug-downtown-revitalization-birmingham

fsujax

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 01:41:16 PM »
Birmingham has a nice collecion of historic buildings, clearly evident of its heydays.

Riverrat

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 02:52:02 PM »
I've always considered Jacksonville to be very similar to Birmingham and Louisville...somehow both seem to have just little more of the "cool factor" ...despite Jacksonville having so many natural elements that make it better (beach, rivers, ports, etc.). It looks like Birmingham is well ahead of is in mixed use development and urban redevelopment.

HisBuffPVB

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 03:26:02 PM »
When I moved to Louisville to go to law school, I met a lady from Jacksonville and said to her, that I was surprised at the richness of the heritage and architecture of the city, and the old building and the reuse of the old buildings, she patted me on the cheek and said, You have to remember, Jacksonville burned to the ground in the early part of the century and this has not happened in Louisville, But in addition to that, Jacksonville did not have the German and other old world craftsman coming down the Ohio River, and staying to build in Louisville with brick and stone. And of course, no liquor industry, no baseball bat industry developed as a result of the good wood in the area, and while their RR center can go out N, E, W, or S, we can only ship by rain, N, W, or S. And they have good barge traffic and before that steamboat traffic on the Ohio. Birmingham is very limited by geography in how and where it can grow. Louisville recently, following visits to Jacksonville, consolidated.

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 03:53:45 PM »
Yes, what is now downtown Jax did burn to the ground in 1901.  However, by 1910, a new and much larger city constructed with brick, stone, concrete, and steel had been constructed in it's place. While Jax had no baseball bat industry, it did excel in paper products, shipbuilding and insurance.  Also, don't forget about the cuban cigar industry that was here in the early 20th century.  Jax pretty much wiped out its more popular cigar industry sibling in Tampa by the 1930s. The major difference between early Birmingham, Louisville, and Jax is pure size of the pre-1960 cities. Both Birmingham and Louisville were much larger than Jax before suburbia took over the country.  Unfortunately, we've torn a ton down since 1970.  Looking at Birmingham's landscape, I suspect they shredded a good chunk of their Southside.  It's just starting to infill again.

1880:

Louisville - 123,758 (larger than Detroit at this point)
Birmingham - 3,086
Jacksonville - 7,650   

1900:

Louisville - 204,731
Birmingham - 38,415
Jacksonville - 28,429 (Jax burns a year later)


1920:

Louisville - 234,891   
Birmingham - 178,806
Jacksonville - 91,558


1960:

Louisville - 390,639
Birmingham - 340,887      
Jacksonville - 201,030

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

dougskiles

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 04:06:41 PM »
To truly appreciate Birmingham, you have to spend some time in the old neighborhoods on and over Red Mountain (the southern boundary of the city), with Mountain Brook and Homewood being my favorite.  Both developed during the booming industrial years of the early 1900's and have incredible architecture and village centers.

I enjoyed my first five years out of college there and frequently go back to visit.

Glad to see the nice article!

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 04:19:05 PM »
I didn't make it to Mountain Brook this time but I did stop in Homewood.  I'm saving that one for a future San Marco focused article:



"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

krazeeboi

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 05:46:32 PM »
I can't believe Railroad Park wasn't mentioned here; it's the catalyst behind all of the recent development in downtown Birmingham, including Regions Field. It won the Urban Land Institute's 2012 Urban Open Space Award: http://www.uli.org/urban-open-space-award/railroad-park-2012-urban-open-space-award-winner/

Regions Field has also been a hit. After spending a quarter of a century in the 'burbs, the Birmingham Barons now play downtown in a brand-spanking new ballpark that has been very successful: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/06/regions_field_all_that_was_pro.html

Nice write-ups here about all of the good things starting to happen in downtown Birmingham: http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/06/travel_once_dying_birmingham_a.html
http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/05/post_20.html
http://exodusmagazine.com/a-magic-city-revival/
http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/07/developers_plan_new_loft_resta.html

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 06:53:15 PM »
We have a previous article that focused specifically on Railroad Park. I'll post a link when I get to a computer. It's a great space. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time there.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 08:32:46 AM »
A 2011 Metro Jacksonville article on Birmingham's Railroad Park: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-apr-birminghams-railroad-park
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali


ProjectMaximus

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2015, 07:42:01 PM »
Looks like Bham won the 2021 World Games. Some folks are dreaming big, like this will be the catalyst for downtown projects including light rail!!

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/01/how_did_birmingham_land_the_wo.html

spuwho

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2015, 09:39:27 PM »
If they could just get the I-22 and I-65 flyover finished.  I drove this route to reach Memphis via Marianna and Dothan in 2013 and this was the big part holding things up.

I-22, when it is completed, is an Interstate Highway that will follow the U.S. 78  corridor  (Corridor X) on a 213-mile-long  route from Memphis, Tennessee, to Birmingham, Alabama. I-22 will connect I-240 and I-40  in the northwest with I-65  in the southeast.  I-22 will help form a freeway to connect downtown Atlanta with Birmingham, Memphis, Little Rock, and Oklahoma City.

They finally got the beams up last month. (Images courtesy of al.com)





« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 09:52:11 PM by spuwho »

spuwho

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Birmingham
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2015, 10:01:19 PM »
Future plans of this road after they finish the 459 beltway is to take it from Birmingham to Columbus, GA.

Personally, I think it should be routed to Florida via Dothan to improve Florida/Alabama traffic.

Connecting Birmingham with Georgia ports while bypassing Atlanta is part of the DOTS initiative (Deep-South Optimized Transportation System). For those of you worried about more road building, DOTS also includes research on HSR between certain cities as well. The I-22 to Brunswick GA portion isn't thought to be completed until 2060.

http://interstate-dots.blogspot.com/

« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 10:16:34 PM by spuwho »