No, there’s nothing new to report about the status of the former Fire Engine No. 22. located at the edge of the city’s Forest Park and Highland Park neighborhoods. We haven’t heard much about the structure since the approval of its sale to developers who want to open a Walgreens location on the site by the Birmingham City Council.
One of the reasons that the proposed agreement was considered a success was because of a compromise reached due to an agreement between several national drug store chains and the National Trust for Historic Preservation dating from 2000. The fight to save the building was led by local groups including I Believe in Birmingham.
It appears that this agreement has recently been determined to be non-binding by the National Trust’s Law Office just after a case in Memphis, TN came to light involving the former home of a United Methodist congregation and CVS (and after the situation here in Birmingham had already been settled).
Opponents to that proposal had also found the original deed for the property – one that restricts the use of the site though it may also not have the legal power behind it necessary for saving the church .
It appears that Birmingham was able to claim victory while those living within close proximity to the site in Midtown Memphis will most likely soon see a second big box drug store chain take over another corner of a major intersection.
That’s because an Ike’s (part of a chain recently purchased by Walgreens) is located directly across the street from the former church.
Even crazier is that the home of the Memphis Ballet sits catty-corner from the building.