Prize2TheFuture finalists announced, 9 from metro area

04.26.2011 by André Natta · → 4 Comments

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Prize2TheFuture logoThe Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has announced the ten (10) finalists in their first ever Prize2TheFuture idea competition this evening. The online “community workshop” drew more than 1,100 entries from across the United States and 38 other countries, with the results below reached by a group of 38 judges headed up by lead Railroad Park designer Tom Leader.

The following is a list of the finalists as provided by CFGB; details for each are available by clicking here or on each title:

The Bazaar at Railroad Park, Jill Ceitlin, Washington, D.C. Inspired by the Terminal Station, The Bazaar description includes shops and restaurants featuring products that represent the best of the South, as well as a center for learning, using technology to explore the rich history of the Magic City.

Magic City Station, Grant Gramstad, team leader, with Dave Smith and Larry Hudson, Birmingham, Alabaster and Trussville. A three-part concept includes a space for shopping and dining that evokes images of railroad history, an entertainment venue using the curved ceiling as a screen and an environmentally responsible energy production system.

The Magic Wheel, Mandy Lamb Meredith, team leader, with Sharon Colgin and Anne-Laura Cook, Birmingham. A permanent custom Ferris Wheel serves as a visible landmark, surrounded by rail-car restaurants, art installations and bike-walking path leading from Railroad Park to Sloss Furnaces.

One Birmingham Place, Colin Coyne, Birmingham. Subtitled “an eight-part celebration of community and social re-engagement,” this multi-use facility has eight detailed sections, including a computer lab, performance venue, outdoor projection wall, café and “HUB” for collaboration between community organizations.

Parkside Market, John Gill, Birmingham. Inspired by traditional Parisian street markets, this proposal calls for a full-time, year-round facility including locally-owned and operated stores and cafes and featuring locally-grown foods and goods.

sPark: A Social Good Park & Project, Robert Thuston, team leader, with Richard Pigford Sr., Jay Pigford, Sean Palmer and Sarah Louise Smith, Birmingham and Clay. A social entrepreneurship program includes selection of participants for a one-year fellowship program that allows them to collaborate on ideas in a center that provides space for living and working and, at the end, to find funding for their ideas.

Stacks and Tracks, Joel Blackstock, team leader, with Stephen Allen, HB Brantley, Mark Elgin and Joel Eliason, Birmingham. A Ferris Wheel, water feature and light show highlight this idea, which also includes a residential/hotel component, retail/restaurant space, parking deck and pedestrian promenade along Powell Avenue.

The Station, James Ponseti, team leader, with Anthony Smith, Homewood. Year-round farmer and merchant’s market features interactive fountain and amphitheatre, linked around a railroad theme, with pedestrian-friendly access across 18th Street and heritage trail along paths linking Railroad Park and the Sloss Corridor.

THE STATION, Carol Misner, team leader, with Cherri Pitts, Birmingham. All-season marketplace, featuring local growers, artisans, chefs and musicians, an underground parking garage and outdoor amphitheater, features a “green” roof with landscaped walkway and seating, linked to Railroad Park by a bridge.

The Stockyard, Josh Westerhold, Birmingham. A public open-air plaza uses stackable re-purposed shipping containers and rail cars to shape a path leading from Railroad Park toward Sloss Furnaces and to provide seasonal space leases for food, arts, entertainment and offices.

The winner of the competition, and $50,000, will be announced at a public event on May 5 at the Alabama Theatre.

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Was Hopeful, But Not Now
Was Hopeful, But Not Now

Out of all of the ideas I find it hard to believe that these are the best. None of these are anything that has the ability to draw the public. So sad. Why not a world class skateboard park for the skateboarders who have already shown they support this area and will be a vibrant presence. I vote they can the whole thing if these are the best ideas they can get!

Naomi Anderegg
Naomi Anderegg

Any way to give feedback? I think that the Stockyard has to most potential--flexible, modern, colorful, fun. But it could certainly be combined with other ideas--like the farmer's market--since it does have an open air plaza.


Those ideas are bland & The Community Foundation specifically asked for a cool, vibrant city center which neaither of the above qualify as.