A visit to Rickwood Field in recent weeks has meant seeing a structure being constructed out in foul territory around short left field where a metal shed once stood. Construction continues, with hopes of it being mostly complete in time for next week Wednesday’s Rickwood Classic between the Birmingham Barons and the Mississippi Braves, but they’re in need of $25,000 to do so.
The building, a train depot formerly located in downtown Birmingham along 14th St. N., has been given a new lease on life as a batting cage for America’s oldest ballpark. It was seen as a win for preservationists who’d wanted to see the structure preserved as part of a new Alagasco operations center after its demolition had been approved by the city’s Design Review Committee in January. The plans for the building were announced shortly after demolition had begun this spring.
Alagasco has worked with general contractor Stewart Perry Construction and the nonprofit organization the Friends of Rickwood on the building’s move — one that will include being used by Birmingham city high schools and Miles College. A Razoo donation page has been set up for several weeks now, and the campaign has one week left. They’re asking for people to share the link and the story with as many people as possible.
Since we’ve already mentioned The Birmingham News earlier, today a story was posted to their website talking about a possible plan in place to save the historic Powell School building in downtown Birmingham from the wrecking ball.
According to the piece, the proposal currently on the table for consideration by the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee this afternoon would give the city’s oldest school building to the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. The city would give them up to six months to secure a developer and stabilize the structure or else the building would be demolished.
Sam Frazier is presenting the proposal on behalf of the Trust and he’s got personal experience in saving historic structures. He serves as chairman of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee, the National Trust for Historic Preservation advisor from Alabama and a member of the Alabama Trust’s board.
Needless to say that many people in the city are hopeful that the building can be saved, especially when you see how many blog posts and photos exist across the web sharing that sentiment. This list includes the front page of the Alabama Trust’s Spring 2011 newsletter. The school was named for the first president of the Elyton Land Company, the real estate company responsible for the city’s existence.
Photo: Powell School post fire. acnatta/Flickr
How does a century-old neighborhood on the rebound in North Birmingham reintroduce itself to metro Birmingham? Similar to how new home communities advertise themselves – with a collective “open house”.
That’s the big idea behind the first annual Historic Norwood Home Tour, taking place May 2nd from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Its organizers, all neighbors, are calling it a “hard hat” tour because all of the homes included have either been totally renovated or are in the middle of that process. They hope the tour will inspire with ideas and provide first-hand tips on how to manage a home renovation.
Eleven homes will be open for tours with proceeds from ticket sales benefitting the Norwood Resource Center, a local community non-profit operating in one of Norwood’s restored homes. Local businesses are taking out ads in the tour’s guide to cover the expense for putting on the event.
Posted in Events, The City
Tagged 35234, AL, Alabama, Birmingham, historic, home, house tour, information, neighborhood, Norwood, Norwood Resource Center, tour
Photo: Removing turrets from Quinlan Castle (1 of 2). dystopos/Flickr
While many of us were infatuated with the relocation of the 1917 locomotive on Saturday morning (pictures later), work crews were handling another local historic icon on Birmingham’s Southside.
Folks were worried when they noticed cranes lifting the turret roofs from their resting places atop historic Quinlan Castle. You can breathe a sigh of relief though, as they were moved to the flat portion of the roof in order to make it easier for repairs to be made to them as part of a restoration project being conducted by the property’s owners, Southern Research Institute.
Posted in architecture
Tagged AL, Alabama, architecture, Birmingham, historic, Quinlan Castle, removal, renovation, roof, southside, start, turret
Remember that post last week about the locomotive moving to Sloss Furnaces? Well, the date’s changed – to tomorrow morning!
They’re expecting it to pull on to the site at approximately 9 a.m. though the time may change yet again because of the complexity of the operation. Maybe one of us will see you there…
Birmingham’s Fair Park has long been home to this 1917 “war baby” steam locomotive. Well, on February 22 it’ll be settling into its new home on the grounds of the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark site. It is the result of an effort led by Mountain Book mayor Terry Oden to raise the $150,000 necessary to pay for the transport of the locomotive by flatbed railcar to its new home. The Birmingham News ran a piece in mid-January with details for those interested in helping out with the move.
BTW: If you wanted to check out some photos from the demolition of the raceway grandstand from last month, there’s a photo set courtesy of Bob Farley over in The Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of Sloss Furnaces
An old friend of The Magic City. acnatta/Flickr.
No, Larry didn’t have the streetcars re-installed overnight for the morning commute… Just figured I’d share this image with you on this Tuesday morning. It’s somewhat appropriate with today’s air quality alert for Jefferson and Shelby Counties and Birmingham’s mayor calling for transit system overhauls that we get a chance to check out what could be (and what is). While I wish I could say that I planned to take this image and attempt to follow Sen. Obama’s trip to San Francisco this past weekend, I did hope to take a look at one of the cities that put a bid in for the 2016 Summer Games while getting some great suggestions for ways to improve the site at WordCamp SF (while doing research for WordCamp Birmingham – taking place in September). The results – we’ll start sharing tomorrow (after I get over a minor case of let lag).
Posted in Random Shots
Tagged AL, Alabama, Birmingham, CA, California, city comparisons, historic, photo, Random Shots, San Francisco, series, streetcar