Vini Nathan, dean of Auburn University’s college of architecture, design, and construction, welcomed dozens of alumni, area residents, partner organizations, and Mayor William Bell to an open house celebrating the new home for the Urban Studio on Wednesday, September 4. The program for fifth year architecture students (officially known as the Auburn University Center for Architecture and Urban Studies) now occupies the ground floor of a three-story building located at 221 20th Street North in Birmingham’s central business district. The event also served as a way to formally introduce the interim director of the studio, Alex Krumdieck, to the public and provided for the unveiling of a sign inside the space visible from the street identifying it.
The structure has previously served as home to several pharmacies, Shoney’s Big Boy, and Porter’s Clothing Company. During her remarks, Nathan hinted at hopes for the studio to be able to eventually occupy the entire building. Remarks were also made by Cathy Sloss Jones of Sloss Real Estate and the mayor (who reminisced about filming a campaign ad in the middle of the intersection the building sits on at 5:30 p.m. back in the late 70s).