Once upon a time, the Ensley community was a vibrant steel town in its own right. Now, a group called “Ensley Alive” is working to breathe new life into this once-vibrant part of town, celebrating both the past, present and future of the place they call home.
Where is the Ensley community?
The Ensley community of Birmingham includes these six neighborhoods:
Ensley: a little history
Ensley got its start as a steel town shortly after the Civil War. It was home to the Ensley Works Steel Mill, which brought prosperity to the area during many of the years it ran—from 1888 to 1976.
Ensley was was annexed into Birmingham in 1910. In the late 1930s, jazz great Erskine Hawkins wrote and recorded “Tuxedo Junction,” named for the place where the streetcars met. Tuxedo Junction became a huge hit, and he remains one of Ensley’s most famous sons.
Not only was there an area called “Little Italy”— there were also sizable Jewish, Greek and Irish communities. It was quite the happening place.
What’s special about the area?
According to folks from Ensley Alive, the area is known for its “great jazz and music history.”
Here are some other happening places in the area:
- The James Lewis Tennis Center, Inc.
- Oasis Gardens Ensley
- Kuumba Community Arts
- Ensley Greenway—phase one of Village Creek Trail
Where do locals go to eat or hang out in the Ensley community?
- Wallace Lounge—a neighborhood pub
- McAlpine and Ensley Rec Centers
- Green Acres—all things chicken
- Gilmer Drugs—more than just a drugstore, since 1907
What’s my home worth?
Sometimes when you check out other neighborhoods, it can get you thinking about moving … BRIK Realty has a handy dandy calculator that can help give you an idea of what your options might be.
What events are coming up in Ensley?
The vibrancy you’ll find in Ensley now is all about the people. And the people are cooking up some fun festivals and events over the next few months.
- Saturday, July 13, 1-7PM—Ensley Renaissance Festival, hosted by Pneuma Gallery. Free. Register here. (For those who are into costume festivals, this is not that type of Renaissance festival. This one is literally celebrating the renaissance of Ensley).
- Thursday, August 1, 7-10PM, Sizzlin Summer Blues & Jokes at the Goldstein & Cohen Building. Tickets $30-250. Purchase tickets here.
- Sunday, September 1,5-11PM, iPUSH Foodie & Music Festival 2019 at the Ensley Live Entertainment Loft. General tickets $20, VIP $40. Get tickets here.
- Saturday, September 28, 8-10AM, 5k at The Junction. Includes 5k run/walk and 1 mile fun run. 2000 Avenue D. Sponsored by Ensley Health Club.
Best Instagram spot / the one thing that everyone who visits the Ensley community needs to see?
You’ll find this amazing mural on the side of The Bethesda Life Center, Inc.
Ride in style with a new Ford Mustang as you traverse through Birmingham. For a limited time in July, Adamson Ford is offering $4,000 to $5,000 off ALL NEW Ford Mustangs. Visit their site, or call 844-352-6600 to speak to your car experts today.
Where can I read about the other neighborhoods?
This is the 1oth installment in a 23-part series Bham Now is doing to feature Birmingham’s 23 communities, comprising 99 neighborhoods. So far, we’ve featured the following communities:
- Red Mountain
- Roebuck / South East Lake
- North Birmingham
There is definitely some good energy in Ensley these days. To keep up with what’s happening, follow The Color Project, Ensley Alive, Branding Ensley, Build Up, and REV Birmingham’s Ensley coverage to find out more.