After vacating 37 years at the Duncan House at Sloss Quarters, we celebrated the move to our new home at the historic Altamont Apartments on Highland Avenue this afternoon. Our well-attended Open House today featured book signings of this year’s publication, Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill, signed by Barbara Shores and Jeff Hunt ((with whom Martin Luther King stayed) as well as a history hunt, book sales, membership information, historical marker guidelines by Jefferson County Historical Commission historian, Linda Nelson, and light refreshments. Thank you to all who joined us!
Guests were also invited to tour the lobby of the historic Greenbriar at Altamont next door.
An historic 1924 apartment building on Highland Avenue is our NEW/OLD location! Birmingham Historical Society members and volunteers have been slowly moving 37 years of research documents and publications from The Duncan House at Sloss Quarters to 2827 Highland Avenue on Birmingham’s Southside.
Many thanks in particular to Pat & Ehney Camp, The Camp Foundation, John Lauriello with SouthPace Properties, BHS President Wayne Hester, Regina & Blue Ammon, Gerry Waters, Carol Slaughter, Carol Ogle and Marjorie White for making this vision a reality.
Read more about the interesting history of our new location in September’s newsletter HERE. Our mailing address remains P.O. Box 321474/Birmingham, AL 35232.
Please mark your calendars for the fall meeting of the Trustees of Birmingham Historical Society, the first in our new offices at 2827 Highland Avenue/35205 at noon on the second Tuesday of September (September 13th, 2022).
Print copies of Birmingham Historical Society Mission, Accomplishments, and Justification for Support will be in hand and progress reports on the capital campaign for the endowment.
Please note our change of location to: 2827 Highland Avenue/Birmingham, AL 35205. At this time, the BHS business office is open ONLY for scheduled meetings and appointments, and our mailing address remains unchanged at P.O. Box 321474/Birmingham, AL 35232. When our ongoing renovations are completed, a formal opening will be announced. (UPDATE: OPEN HOUSE November 13th, 2-4PM)
Today, part of a much loved neighborhood with a variety of affordable housing, Highland Avenue was originally lined with mansions and was the preferred home of many of Birmingham’s founders. The three parks at that time were merely ravines along the popular avenue. So Mayor George Ward, who had a strong interest in public green spaces, declared the ravines on Highland Avenue “parks” assuring that they would remain undeveloped lots.
Rhodes Park, named after the founder of what is now The Birmingham News, is 3 1/4 acres with residential lots that were developed mainly between 1906-1911. The landscape plan was created by Boston landscape architect, George Miller, while some of the architectural features were designed by William Leslie Welton.
Rhodes Park, considered the central park on Highland Avenue, has a number of landscape features not found in the other two. Due to lack of city funds at the time, the stone entrances, steps, and concrete features in Rhodes Park were paid for by the wealthy residents who lived along Highland Avenue at the turn of the century. While the other two ravines remained largely undeveloped, thanks to the efforts of Mayor George Ward, they have nevertheless remained parks, and are included in the Olmsted Brothers plans for green spaces in Birmingham.