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.
Folks driving into downtown Birmingham, AL the morning of February 1 may have noticed a dumpster sitting out in front of the historic Powell School Building along 6th Avenue North. It’s OK if the rain might have kept you from noticing…
It appears that workers from One Stop Environmental have begun to remove debris from the city’s oldest school a little more than a year after a devastating fire did significant damage to it. The property was donated to the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation along with $500,000 back in October. The building had been named to the organization’s 2011 list of Places in Peril in May. The city’s requested that $150,000 be reserved to cover the cost of demolition in the event that a developer is not located that views the project as feasible.
According to the request for proposals retrieved from Operation New Birmingham’s website, submissions were due on January 9. A story published in The Birmingham News during the holidays suggests that the stabilization project is on schedule enabling potential developers to access the property for review in March. It was also reported that work was underway to design a roof to protect the remaining structure from any more damage due to weather.
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
Posted in The City, Travelogue
Tagged AL, Birmingham, building, church, corner, CVS, infill, Memphis, Midtown, preservation, save, structure, TN, UMC
Today’s Birmingham City Council Budget and Finance committee meeting is possibly going to be a little more crowded than usual.
The committee meeting takes place at 4 p.m. on the 3rd floor Birmingham City Hall in its administrative wing. Among the items on today’s agenda is a contract to sell the former Fire Station No. 22 to a developer who wants to replace the Spanish Revival structure with a Walgreens. The Birmingham News reports that the property is currently being offered by the city for $200,000.
The fact that the contract has not been approved as of yet by the City Council may partially explain why the presentation made to the city’s Design Review Committee was conceptual on April 29.
Citizens upset with the decision have turned to Facebook, Twitter and blog posts in hopes that City Councilors would listen to “constructive alternatives” to the current proposal. The committee’s recommendation will be considered by the full council, which must still make a decision on the matter.
Photo: IMG_3168. JCMcdavid/Flickr
Posted in architecture, Business
Tagged AL, Alabama, architecture, B'ham, Birmingham, Business, city, development, follow-up, Lakeview, preservation, Walgreens
Workers were surveying the former location for Birmingham Fire Department Engine No. 22 early this morning, just one day after the city’s Design Review Committee held over for review a conceptual design that would allow a Walgreens pharmacy to replace the structure – along with the car repair business immediately next door and apparently long time fixture breakfast venue Bogue’s Restaurant.
According to a Birmingham Business Journal article from earlier this month, there have been several inquiries made about redevelopment of the busy intersection where the Lakeview, Highland Park and Forest Park neighborhoods meet.
Jeremy Erdreich’s blog, Bhamarchitect, has received a great deal of traffic, and comments, as a result of his post about yesterday morning’s meeting.
Posted in architecture, Development
Tagged AL, Alabama, B'ham, Birmingham, Clairmont Avenue, Design Review Committee, Engine 22, Lakeview, preservation, proposal, restoration, Walgreens
JJ MacCrimmon is a photographer out of Huntsville, AL who recently posted these images of the historic Lyric Theater on his blog Orbits of a deluded mind. He’s promised to share additional photos from his trip this past July soon.
The upper floors of the building that housed the theater has been vacant for many years now, but as many of you may know (and as JJ points out in his first post of photos back in December) there are many people working to restore the property and have it see use again as a performance venue for Birmingham, AL. The Lyric is currently owned by Birmingham Landmarks, Inc., the organization that currently operates The Alabama Theatre. Folks looking for additional information about the theater can check out this entry on BhamWiki or this post from Cinema Treasures.
Folks looking to find out how they can help with the theater’s renovation efforts should check out the official Lyric Theater website.
Photo: A look up into the Lyric Theater. acnatta/Flickr
Posted in Travelogue
Tagged 35203, AL, Alabama, architecture, B'ham, Birmingham, downtown, Lyric Theater, photos, plans, preservation