The first train to arrive at the majestic Birmingham Terminal Station did so on the evening of June 30, 1907 at 10:50.
Here is how that momentous occasion occurred, now 112 years ago, as described in the Bhamwiki entry about the Birmingham Terminal:
“The station’s construction took two years and cost $2 million. The first train to stop at the new platform, nearly two years before the station building was completed, arrived on the evening of June 30, 1907. Station master Lee C. Jones oversaw the first use of the telephone block signal system that guided the Southern Railway train to the south platform at 10:50 PM.”
The grand opening for the station was on April 6. 1909.
The Birmingham Terminal served our community for 60 years. Ironically, according to Bhamwiki, on June 30, 1969, the same day, the first train rode into the station 62 years later, the Alabama Public Service Commission gave permission to demolish the grand old building.
The loss of the Birmingham Terminal Station has been a sore subject for historic preservationists in Birmingham now for five decades.
It was a missed opportunity.
Communities such as Tacoma, Washington and Chattanooga, Tennessee restored their beloved train stations.
Chattanooga’s station is home to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and anchors a tourism and entertainment district.
“You don’t know what you got till its gone….” ~ Joni Mitchell
Birmingham has made great strides, especially over the past 5-10 years restoring some of our most precious historical buildings – The Florentine, Pizitz and the Thomas Jefferson Tower just to name a few.
Visit the Exhibit at the Vulcan Park and Museum
Want to learn more about the Birmingham Terminal Station? The Vulcan Park and Museum is showing a special exhibit about the Terminal. Don’t miss it!
Toast the Birmingham Terminal Station tonight
We will never forget the Birmingham Terminal Station. Tonight, at 10:50 PM – raise a glass in memory her. May she always be our rallying cry to protect the Magic City’s architectural heritage.