Category Archives: Design Review Committee

Design Review: A new place to LIV on Parkside

liv-parkside-revised-rendering375The biggest story out of the August 28th Birmingham Design Review Committee meeting is the proposed changes made to LIV Development’s Parkside Apartments planned for across from Railroad Park.

A Champion Windows representative addressed the committee regarding the installation of replacement windows on a home in Avondale. The existing windows are wood frame, single pane in a one over one style. They proposed replacing with vinyl windows, but all the existing exterior window trim will remain. The neighborhood association approved the plans with no conditions. The committee approved.

East Lake
The furniture store Arijays is adding a pole sign along their property (the former Furniture King) on First Avenue North. Commander Board Sign Company presented the plans for the sign matching the previously approved building sign. The pole sign will be one sided. The committee approved with the request to paint the reverse side of the sign.

Downtown Northwest
Stephanie Smith of Reliable Sign Services returned to the committee to present the updated plans for the readerboard sign in front of Alabama Power’s Metro Center / Appliance Center on Sixth Avenue North. The company approved with an alternative that removes the readerboard portion. The committee approved with little discussion.

LIV Development, brought the plans for its proposed Parkside Apartments complex near Railroad Park for final approval of the project. The committee approved a conceptual design in April. It called for an s-shaped building with two courtyards and 250 units. While that has not changed, the exterior design has been updated to have a more castle-like theme.

Committee members expressed concerns about how the design looked like the building belonged more in a suburban area of Florida rather than in downtown Birmingham; one member going so far as to call it an attempt to look like a “modern-day Quinlan Castle” (which was not a compliment). The committee also discussed the need for the exterior streetscape and sidewalks to be cohesive with the remainder of 17th Street South. Additional aspects of the project discussed at this meeting included alley access for first floor parking, retail spaces, the rooftop courtyard the developer said as having a Wrigleyville (in Chicago) vibe, and metal accents including railings and storefronts.

The committee approved the basic site plan so construction could begin, but the developer will have to return to the committee with updated roof line, landscaping, and sidewalk plans.

David Brandt of Fravert Services has designed a series of monument signs for Kassouf & Co.’s office at 22nd Street South and University Boulevard. The original three-sided monument sign was removed during the recently completed exterior renovation. It will be replaced with a two-sided sign that will sit diagonally on the corner. Two additional monument signs will be added at the entrances on 22nd and University.

Concerned with the visibility and drivers’ sight lines, the committee approved the signs subject to approval of the traffic engineers.

Five Points South
Representing Dave’s Pub on Southside, Larry Towney presented plans to install an awning over the exterior patio. This awning is intended to allow a place for smokers to go when it is raining. The awning will follow the contour of the building along the pub’s front façade.

The committee was concerned with how the awning will be attached as well as how it will follow the contours. The project was conceptually approved and will have to return to the committee with more details and shop drawings.

Brandt’s second presentation to the committee featured a replacement of a door sign for Truitt Insurance. The company underwent a re-branding, necessitating the vinyl logo on the business’s door to be updated. The proposal also included new address numbers on the exterior. The committee approved.

Nineteenth Street North
Daniels Signs brought a sign revision plan for The Vault Bar & Lounge to the committee. The owner did not like the previously approved sign after manufacturing and requested a new design. The sign will feature aluminum letters outlined in neon and centered on the storefront. The committee approved.

Committee Work Session
A work session to discuss the potential of a new Taco Bell in the Midtown area was scheduled to begin immediately after the meeting. However, there were no representatives in attendance and the session was cancelled.

Design Review: An appeal filed for The Sign (and more signs)

163/365First things first…

Probably the biggest news to come out of the meeting occurred after all scheduled items were presented. City staff informed the committee at the end of the meeting that Harbert Realty has filed an appeal for the wrapping of the sign atop Two North Twentieth.

Representatives of Harbert brought the project before the city’s zoning department for approval outside of the design review committee. The committee sent a letter to Harbert in December 2012 outlining their concerns and have remained consistent in every presentation and decision. Harbert continues to claim economic hardship regarding the sign. However, the building is said to now be under contract to be sold and it does not include a contingency for the sign. According to the commercial revitalization section of the code, the appeal will go through the city’s housing board of appeals. This will be a public meeting (as are all design review committee meetings).

Residential Projects
Highland Park
Developer Joseph McClure returned to the committee to present the updated plans for his residence. Based on requests of the committee and the Neighborhood Association, McClure updated the plans for the second story addition windows. The neighborhood’s concerns with the new plans focused on the windows and whether or not they were proportional to those on the first floor. McClure explained that they will be, but the rendering likely does not explain that clearly. The committee approved.

Forest Park
Originally approved at a DRC meeting last year, Hank Long, Jr., of Henry Sprott Long & Associates brought updated plans to the committee. The structure on the site has been demolished and construction is soon to begin on the new residence. The Neighborhood Association approved and so did the committee.

Roebuck Springs
Greg Heal of Equity Builder spoke to a project they are working on to return a house in Roebuck back to much of its original state. Currently clad in vinyl siding, the company will refurbish the underlying cedar shake, add new cedar shutters, and install a galvanized metal roof (which is not original to the house). The Neighborhood Association approved the plans. However, the committee had some concerns with the galvanized roof as well as the gutters and downspouts. After discussion, the project was approved with gutters that blend in with the roof and downspouts that blend with the body of the house.

Second and Third Avenues North
REV Birmingham is partnering with CommuteSmart to install bike racks on 2nd Ave. between 22nd and 25th Streets and the 1900 block of 3rd Ave. N. The 2nd Ave. N. racks will reflect the butternut color the area is using for the micro-neighborhood’s marketing campaigns and events. The 3rd Ave. racks will be black to blend into the area. The committee approved both projects.

The building housing Burgess Interiors on 2nd Ave. N. will be getting an exterior renovation scheduled for completion in September before Artwalk. James Burgess presented plans to remove the pink paint from a portion of the brick work, clean the lentils, and repaint the brick sections around the storefront. In the case that the paint removal does not work, the committee recommended Burgess work with staff on a color that will blend with the existing brick color. The project was approved.

Birmingham Green
David Brandt of Fravert Services presented plans to install a large corner sign that denotes the street address of the recently purchased Financial Center building on 20th St. and 5th Ave. N. The site is currently undergoing updated landscaping that has cleared the site for the address paver as well as the view to an outdoor sculpture on the site. The committee approved.

The building situated between Café Dupont and a residential property on 20th Street North is scheduled for demolition. Owned by Bromberg’s, the building is deteriorated and has been vacant for seven years. It was also the subject of a lawsuit between the residential owner and Bromberg’s, which has been settled to include the demolition of the building. Although no new usage of the site is currently planned, there have been talks regarding adding an outdoor café area for Café Dupont. Drawings of the site, as presented by Richard Carnaggio of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds, include a limestone portal for the gate. The main concern of the committee was that there is no set plan for what will replace that building along 20th St. and they do not want the site to remain an “empty hole” for any period of time. Carnaggio stated that he has a “gentleman’s agreement” with the Brombergs to build the portal and landscape, but no plans have been contracted. The committee tabled the project for one month so plans for the site could be determined.

Five Points South
Howard Rasco of Lathan Associates Architects presented the landscaping plans for the parking lot and front of the new home for First Partners Bank on Highland Avenue. Exterior renovations and awnings for the former Southern Health and Life Insurance Building were previously approved by the committee. The plans included adding a paver walkway through an existing parking space, fencing surrounding some ground-based mechanical boxes, and removing trees along Highland. The committee expressed concerns with the need for an additional walkway for employees (since the public sidewalk was basically next to the walkway), matching the Highland Avenue trees to the existing plantings along the street. Discussion then turned towards the removal of the trees – they are in the city right of way, not on private property. The committee approved the parking lot plans, minus the paver walkway, and requested the architect confer with staff and the city horticulturist regarding the trees before returning to present the revised Highland Avenue plans.

Caron Stallings of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds returned to the committee to present updated renovation concepts for a retail building on Seventh Avenue South. Plans include patching and repairing the exterior brick, exposing the brick parapet on the main façade, replacing the metal fascia, refurbishing the storefronts, and installing awnings. The color scheme presented consisted of navy blue and warm white. The committee approved the concepts and explained that Stallings will need to return with a multi-tenant signage plan and details of the art project for the wall facing Arby’s located on the adjacent property.

Downtown Northwest
The owner of the ARC building across from Innovation Depot on 2nd Ave. N. is planning a renovation to prepare the site for potential retail space. Architect Willie C. Oliver presented plans for paint and brick color, including a three-foot decorative brick course that will extend from the building along a portion of the adjacent parking lot. Once this phase of the project is complete, Oliver will return to the committee to discuss the canopies and signage. The committee approved.

The outdated readerboard sign in front of Alabama Power’s Metro Center / Appliance Center on 6th Ave. N. has been removed. Stephanie Smith of Reliable Sign Services brought plans for an updated sign to be installed on the site. Although there had been a readerboard there for years, the committee does not allow that type of signage. The plans were carried over to the next meeting so Smith to return to the public utility to develop alternatives.

Photo: 163/365.Bradley Burgess/Flickr

Design Review: A return of the sign and Milo’s isn’t moving (yet)

currentharbertproposalThis week’s Design Review Committee meeting attendees witnessed yet another revisiting of the Two North Twentieth sign wrap project. (You may click here if you’d like to jump to that section.) There were also three residential projects, signage, and exterior updates.

Before the meeting began, committee chair Sam Frazier welcomed new member,  civil engineer Sheila Montgomery-Mills.

Highland Park

First up was developer Joseph McClure, but this time instead of a historic building downtown, he presented plans for an addition and renovations to a residence. The owners have outgrown the brick 1970s ranch-style home. Plans include adding a second story and porch, exterior paint, and a large two-story garage. The neighborhood association approved the plans with certain conditions, including their main contention regarding the removal of the large upper windows. The project architect, also in attendance, explained that the majority of the neighborhood’s concerns have been addressed, but they are exploring how to fix the windows. The committee approved construction of the garage and asked McClure to return to the committee to present updated plans for the house.


Two residential projects in Norwood were brought before the committee. First, the owner was seeking approval for renovations of a long-neglected multi-family building. The four-unit house was damaged on one side by a fire of a neighboring property. The owner plans to replace wood siding and porch materials with salvage to match as closely as possible. The committee approved.

The next one was a residence where the owner wants to paint concrete porch caps and ledges. The Norwood neighborhood guidelines state that unpainted caps, ledges, and sills cannot be painted, but owners can repaint anything previously painted. The neighborhood voted to have the owner return the caps and ledges to their original condition (pointing out they are actually limestone and not concrete) by removing the remainder of the paint. The committee agreed and approved the removal of paint.

Both the Highland Park and Norwood neighborhood associations will be completing orientations to develop subcommittees to address architectural issues prior to projects coming to the Design Review Committee.

Five Points West / North Birmingham

MetroPCS plans to open stores in each of these neighborhoods. Images, but no structural details, were presented to the committee for consideration. The committee tabled the project so the franchise owner could work with staff and the sign company to prepare an appropriate package to be presented at the next meeting.

Five Points South

Howard Rasco of Lathan Associates Architects presented plans for awnings at the entrances for the building housing First Partners Bank on Highland Avenue. Located in the old Southern Health and Life Insurance Building, exterior renovations were previously approved by the committee. The architect proposed dark grey awnings with the name of the bank in white letters. The committee approved.


The proposed plans for the Milo’s restaurant on 5th Ave. S. to relocate to 7th Ave. S. (next door to Arby’s) are no longer proceeding. In order to improve the general aesthetics of the building  – and, hopefully, lure tenants – the new firm working on the project, Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds, presented a conceptual design including navy blue aluminum panels on the front façade, painted brick, and updated railings in the rear. Although the committee felt that the contemporary improvements are good and they were glad the building will be used again, they felt the presentation was a mish-mash of ideas. The project was tabled for more information.

Downtown West

John Bradley of S.A.S. Architects brought initial plans for exterior improvements to the Tillman Levenson Annex Building on 12th Street North. The façade, including the faded sign, will be maintained, but the current industrial garage doors will be replaced with a storefront, stoop, and awning. The air conditioner window units will be removed and new windows will be installed in their place. The committee requested bronze storefronts rather than clean anodized aluminum and approved the project with that modification. NOTE: Mike Tomberlin filed this story with late yesterday revealing more information about plans for the building.

East Lake

Arijays, a new business moving into the area, contracted Steve Looney and Commander Board Signs to install signage on their building. The non-lighted signs will be digitally printed. The committee expressed concern about the signage as well as the purple paint used on the building. The committee moved to table the signs until the next meeting.

After the agenda was completed, a committee member motioned to reconsider this project for approval to allow Looney to work with staff rather than wait three weeks before being able to complete the installation.


Jerry Holcombe of Reliable Storage had been approached by a salvage firm to demolish the two historic brick buildings on the property. He came before the committee seeking a demolition request for the one closest to the portion of the property he currently uses. Both buildings are damaged beyond repair and had not been previously demolished for financial reasons. The salvage firm does not charge for demolition and will re-sell the materials. The lot will be fenced in and grass planted. The committee approved with the condition that Holcombe file a site plan with staff.

Birmingham Green

Now, onto the elephant in the room: Harbert Realty. A subcommittee had been appointed to work with Harbert Realty and Buffalo Rock to best determine how to proceed with the sign atop Two North Twentieth. David Miller from Buffalo Rock and Tab Bisignani of Harbert introduced Sara Nichols from o2ideas to present designs they believed addressed the committee’s concerns. The presenters began with an elaborate presentation, which was cut short by the chair due to the lengthiness of the agenda. A design resembling a billboard was presented to the committee. And, once again, the committee explained that billboards are not allowed by the code. Bisignani again explained the hardship of the expense as a factor in the decision to wrap the sign. When the committee balked at this design, Bisignani reminded the committee that the sign was grandfathered (and no one on the committee argued with that, going so far as to explain the significance of the uniqueness of the sign). As the committee did not change their minds from either argument, Bisignani told the committee that he was not sure this sign should be under the purview of this assembly and that maybe it should be considered by a higher authority.

Bisignani also expressed that he believed “We have done everything you have asked.” However, based on three previous full committee discussions summarized via excerpts from previous columns for Magic City Post as shared over on Dear Birmingham, there continues to appear to be a disconnect between the committee’s ideas and what Harbert wants to do.

UPDATED: Design Review: Signs… really cool signs (and a house)

After the excitement during the last Design Review Committee meeting, this one was rather sedate focusing on mostly signage, including a very powerful, interactive one close to Regions Field (see UPDATE below).


The new owner of a circa-1910 home in Avondale presented exterior renovation plans to the committee. Previously approved by the neighborhood’s advisory committee, the updates include replacing the porch supports with columns that resemble the original design of the home, new windows, a new porch floor, exterior paint, and replacement roofing. The original window openings will need to be shortened to accommodate interior kitchen renovations on one side of this one-story house. In addition, the new owners plan to install central heating and air. The committee approved the renovations with the direction for the homeowner to work with staff on appropriate exterior colors.


BeforeIDieLouisvilleMatthew Hamilton, representing TEDxBirmingham, circulated plans for a community art project sponsored by the organization. The temporary project will be the first time Candy Chang’sBefore I Die” project will come to Birmingham. The project will be installed at 112 14th Street South (across from Regions Field) and will remain until the building owner begins renovations this October.

UPDATE: A Kickstarter campaign launched on Wednesday afternoon, July 9, to help raise $2,000 in two weeks for the installation of the project.

Volunteers will be updating the project regularly and photos will be taken for a project web site. The committee recommended working with both CAP and Railroad Park as they are neighbors to the project as well. The committee approved.

Five Points South

An updated signage master plan for the Dulion Building was presented Brenda Daniels of Daniel Signs. At the last meeting, the committee requested the master plan based on the signage designs for Orbit Salon on 11th Avenue South. The new plan includes ground floor tenant signs consisting of raised letters on a black background that will be installed over the doorways. The plan was approved by the committee.

The owner of the Dulion also owns the attached building. Based on staff recommendations, the Daniel Signs worked on a master plan that would provide some consistency for signage on this block. The tenant signage on the attached building would be similar (raised letters on a black background) and installed on the transoms. The committee approved this plan as well.


At the last meeting, the committee selected two potential candidates to fill the open seat on the committee. The recommendations have been given to the city council for approval.

A subcommittee will be appointed to determine whether or not citations will be issued against Chik-fil-A based on the company’s violations at its Five Points South location.

Twice a month, the city’s Design Review Committee convenes at the Auburn University Urban Studio to discuss and approve – hopefully – plans to make alterations to the city’s structures that fall within one of the many historic and commercial revitalization districts. During this week’s meeting, committee members discussed the advantages, disadvantages, and aesthetics of seven different proposals throughout the city.

 Photo: Before I Die as currently installed in Louisville, KY. André Natta/

Design Review: Uptown, Five Points South & signs

After last week’s excitement, Birmingham’s Design Review Committee meeting was rather sedate with mostly signage and a residential update.

Forest Park Residential

The single residential project on this week’s agenda was a material change. In May, the committee approved an exterior renovation in the historic Forest Park neighborhood that would have clad a house in hardie board. The architect returned to the committee to amend the plans and change the cladding to stucco, which remains in character of the neighborhood and the house. The committee approved with almost no discussion.

Uptown / Cultural District

Steve Looney of Commander Board Signs Inc. presented signage for Octane Coffee‘s new location. Those already familiar with their Homewood space will recognize this new tenant when they open later this year in the Uptown development’s Westin hotel. Reverse-lit channel letters will be installed on two sides their corner storefront. The committee approved.

06272013tdbbeforeconstructionAnother business preparing to open in Uptown is Texas de Brazil. The Dallas-based Brazillian steakhouse chain will open their Birmingham location across from Todd English P.U.B. on Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. N. The signage and elevation requests submitted by A.G. Gaston Design‘s Fred Keith included two outdoor dining areas, a panel canopy system, a red back-lit logo sign, and the bamboo planted in ceramic pots consistent with the chain’s design. The canopy, made of aluminum slats, perforated metal, and wood beams (for structural support) will wrap three sides of the building. The main entrance to the restaurant will be on Richard Arrington. After discussion on materials, the project was approved by the committee.

Five Points South

Two signage requests were presented by Wes Daniels of Daniel Signs. First, Sekisui Pacific Rim’s Five Points location requested the installation of signage mounted on a raceway track. The letters would be LED lit. The committee expressed concerns on the sign’s placement in relation to the chevron details on the terracotta building facing. They also requested the building’s owner be contacted to implement a signage master plan. The committee approved with one member dissenting.

Next, Daniels discussed new signage for Orbit Salon on 11th Ave. S. The original presentation included an aluminum framed sign with chrome letters and vinyl letters applied to the entrance for wayfinding. After a short discussion, it was recommended that the sign be reduced to simply the letters without a background. Then the committee members discussed how the sign would be mounted. Ultimately, both parties agreed to mount the letters with adhesive to reduce the potential damage to the stone façade on the building. A committee member brought up the inconsistencies with the building’s current tenant signage, which includes both building signs and canopies. The committee’s motion approved the vinyl door sign and the removal of the current illegal signage while asking for the owner to return with a signage master plan.

New committee appointments

Finally, prior to adjourning, the committee voted on recommendations for filling at least one vacant at-large committee seat. Three resumes had been circulated to members. Two – those of Craig Hennecy of Hennecy Architecture and Shelia Montgomery-Mills of Civil Construction Solutions – will now be passed along to the Birmingham City Council for consideration.

Twice a month, the city’s Design Review Committee convenes at the Auburn University Urban Studio to discuss and approve – hopefully – plans to make alterations to the city’s structures that fall within one of the many historic and commercial revitalization districts.

Design Review: Temporary bookstores, antennas and elephants in the room

Birmingham’s Design Review Committee got a hot start to the first month of summer with some signage, residential renovation projects for the city’s east side, and a touch of controversy involving Chick-Fil-A.

Forest Park /Avondale Residential

The committee reviewed two residential projects this week. The first was a siding and roof replacement in Forest Park. The owner of the house presented updated plans for the restoration. Due to an issue with his contractor, he was unaware about the approval processes prior to the installation of the windows. Unfortunately, the windows cannot be adjusted to add faux glazing bars. The owner also brought samples for the potential roof replacement. His roofing manufacturer recommended a cupped concrete tile, but the committee was concerned that the style of roof would not go with the style of the home. The committee retroactively approved the windows and asked the owner to return with a flatter tile roof sample.

The other residential project was a previously approved restoration in Avondale. The owner decided to replace the previously approved vinyl siding with a hardy board product in a similar color. The committee approved the change.

Downtown West

David Brandt of Fravert Services presented plans for signage to be placed on the Young & Vann Building. The Birmingham History Center currently does not have exterior signage on the building and the board has contracted with Fravert to install a bracketed banner on the 1st Ave. N. façade. The committee approved the signage with the caveat that the banner bit between the brick bands that visually separate the floors.

Retail & Theatre District

KRUSEFACADE5Mike Gibson of Appleseed Workshop presented updated plans for a proposed loft building on 3rd Ave. N. Some of the more artistic portions of the original design have been reduced due to budget constraints and suggestions made by the committee have been incorporated. Some of the windows on the east /19th St. façade have been eliminated. A decorative steel design has been updated. In addition, the building name has been changed from K Lofts to Whitmire Lofts in honor of Alabama Theatre’s restoration leader, the late Cecil Whitmire. Construction is expected to start on July 1. The committee approved.


Due to the upcoming demolition and replacement of Hill University Center later this year, UAB finds it necessary to provide the university bookstore operated by Barnes & Noble since 2010 a new home until construction is complete. Plans for the exterior treatments were presented to the committee by Sheila Chaffin, the university’s executive director of campus planning. In addition to paint treatments, the University plans to add vinyl banner signs reflecting the new UAB branding campaign. The proposed design showed two internally-lit Barnes & Noble signs as well as text within one of the green painted bands denoting the differences from a regular Barnes & Noble location. The committee approved the plans with the exception of the green band treatment, citing product advertising restrictions.

Birmingham Green

For Mike Gibson’s second appearance before the committee, he presented plans for an update to the exterior of the Paramount building. The frozen yogurt shop occupying the ground floor closed earlier this year and a new tenant will be taking over the space. The site will turn into a bar instead, maintaining the Paramount name in honor of the building’s original tenant. Glass roll up doors will be installed in one of the existing front windows along 20th Street. The corner sign will also remain. The committee approved the plans.


Square Feet Studio, a design firm based in Atlanta, will be working with the owners of a sports bar to open in the Uptown entertainment district adjacent to the Westin hotel. Architect Ashley McClure presented updated plans for the penthouse addition. Based on design requirements from the BJCC, the previously approved stucco wall will now be a pine wall reminiscent of ship’s lath. This was said to be done to match current renovations already approved by BJCC officials. The committee requested the wood be stained a color that will be complementary to the charcoal grey finishes in the design. Color samples can be submitted and approved by staff instead of returning to the committee.

The committee also briefly discussed that the BJCC should be contacted and submit an overall plan for design requirements to the committee as soon as possible.

Five Points South

Verizon Wireless is upgrading the local network and will need to replace three of the 12 antennas currently installed on the roof of the  Hotel Highland. The new antennas will be the same size and painted the same color as the current installation. The committee approved.

The elephant in the room was the discussion of Chick-fil-A on Five Points South. Concerned citizen and local attorney Alton Parker addressed the committee with a request for them to review photographs of a number of violations. Many readers may remember the controversy when Chick-fil-A first presented plans to move onto the former Ruby Tuesday site on 20th St. S. and Highland Avenue. The main contention between the city and the company was the existence of a drive-thru. Chick-fil-A acquiesced and did not install a driveway. Now, apparently, the franchise has opted to offer “curbside service” to its customers. This new service is not only a de facto drive-thru service, but the signage installed is also in violation. Additional concerns were expressed about traffic issues. Based on the complaints and the photographs, the committee referred the issue to executive session to discuss potential litigation.

Twice a month, the city’s Design Review Committee convenes at Auburn University’s Urban Studio to discuss and approve – hopefully – plans to make alterations to the city’s structures that fall within one of the many historic and commercial revitalization districts. During this week’s meeting, committee members discussed the advantages, disadvantages, and aesthetics of seven different proposals throughout the city.

Design Review: a church, some patios, and Penny

PennyatRegionsField-smallTwice a month, the city of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee convenes at the Auburn University Urban Studio to discuss and approve – hopefully – plans to make alterations to the city’s structures that fall within one of its many historic and commercial revitalization districts. During this week’s meeting, committee members discussed the advantages, disadvantages, and aesthetics of eleven different proposals throughout the city.

Redmont Park/Forest Park Residential

The committee reviewed two residential projects this week. One was a roof replacement in Forest Park. Although originally a flat roof, the owner is replacing it with a gabled roof to match the home while fixing leaking issues with the flat structure. Go Lightly Landscape Architecture presented plans for a landscaping renovation in Redmont Park. This project will affect the driveway, parking, patio, and plantings throughout the front of the home. Both projects were approved by both of the respective local committees as well as the Design Review Committee.

Highland Park

Dan Fritts of LIVE Design Group returned to the committee with the next step in the plans for the St. Symeon Orthodox Church. Fritts introduced changes to the site plan since the last presented to the committee. The city requires a certain number of parking spots and three spaces needed to be added. For budgetary reasons, the covered walkway originally proposed between the new church and the existing building was moved to phase two of the project.

He also presented colors and materials for the building. There will be a copper dome that will not patina, coated brick walls, and a blue metal roof. The windows under the dome will be surrounded with a stucco painted to match the brick used on the body of the church. As for landscaping, the site will use indigenous trees and take care to select species already existing in the neighborhood. Some of the existing trees will need to be removed due to their deteriorating health. After discussion regarding specifics on the planting and colors of the brick, the committee approved the updated plans. Fitts was instructed to return to present the signage separately.


Wes Daniel of Daniel Signs presented plans for updated signage on the American Health Imaging building on the southeast corner of Richard Arrington Jr., Blvd. and 4th Avenue South. The new sign will be a box with back-lit channel letters. The company is removing the phrase “OPEN MRI” from the signage in their new branding campaign. Daniel was told to remove the temporary signage currently in the windows. The committee approved.

Joel Williams of the Williams Partnership presented the conceptual site plan for the proposed Milo’s on Seventh Avenue South. He will return to the committee with materials, landscaping, and final design. After discussion on the building size, parking issues, and delineation of property lines between Milo’s and Arby’s, the committee approved.

The historic Penny the Dog sign, recently restored by Birmingham Hide and Tallow and Accent Custom Signs, will be installed just beyond the exterior right field fence at Regions Field, above the VIP parking lot. The sign had been donated to the Birmingham Barons earlier this year and removed from its long time home along 1st Avenue North. The sign will be seen from both 3rd Avenue South and inside the ballpark and will be lit with spotlights. The plan to install the sign was approved by the committee.

19th Street North

The committee discussed the new signage for The Vault Bar and Lounge, a project also presented by Daniel Signs. The new sign will be black aluminum cut out letters surrounded by exposed neon. The Vault was also required to move the temporary window signage as a condition of approval. The committee approved.

Morris Avenue

Ian WIllicot presented plans for an outdoor café and new signage at Krewe on First,  a recently opened bar and lounge with a cigar humidor and needs a patio area for their smoking customers. Patio furniture will be standard wrought iron table and chairs with a fenced enclosure. The signage is a circular painted aluminum panel, roughly three feet in diameter, and will be bolted to the wall above the door. Both the patio and signage were approved by the committee.


Elizabeth Barbaree-Tasker of REV Birmingham represented Red Mountain Community School (she serves on their board) and New Hope Baptist Church for a signage proposal. The school has moved into the second floor of the church’s outbuilding. There is currently no signage denoting the new location of the school. The proposed sign will be cedar and metal and installed on an existing concrete header beam. It was approved.

Birmingham Green

The committee previously approved a signage package for the Viva Health building on 20th Street North. David Brandt of Fravert Services returned to the committee to present updated ground-level signage plans for the building. The original plans turned out to be cost prohibitive. To update the signage and ensure appropriate space and placement, the signage location has been moved to the bottom section of glass on the second floor. The signs will be brushed bronze and will not be illuminated. The owners of the building have approved and will amend their master plan based on the committee’s decision. The committee approved.


Benjie Shirah presented plans for the initial storefront build-out of a new sports bar at the Uptown entertainment district adjacent to the new Westin hotel near the BJCC. They call for installation of windows, a roll-up “garage” door, and charcoal awnings. Shirah will return with signage and other upgrades to the site as the plans evolve. The committee approved.