Have you heard about Freedom Walk—the vision to join three parts of Birmingham that were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement together for a brighter future? Read on for all the details.
1. “One cohesive growth community … to build an equitable future.”
According to Urban Impact Birmingham, one of Freedom Walk’s main organizers, the vision of the project is to create “one cohesive growth community where people can live, work, play, learn, shop and experience history.”
Here are three main historically significant areas this vision proposes linking economically and culturally:
- Historic 4th Avenue Business District
- Birmingham Civil Rights District
- Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument District
In case you’re not sure what all is included in these three areas, we’ll get to that in a sec.
But one important point is that North Birmingham’s Smithfield neighborhood and both Northside and Southside communities stand to benefit from the new economic opportunities that are part of this vision.
2. 3 notable areas inspired the Freedom Walk vision.
Did you know Birmingham has its own National Monument ? Similar to a National Park, it was created in 2017 and joins well-known landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
- 4.5 blocks of the Birmingham Civil Rights District, including the 16th Street Baptist Church and the A.G. Gaston Motel are included in the monument.
- Bethel Baptist Church, located in North Birmingham, is also part of the monument.
The plan is for the National Park Service to set up shop in the west wing of the A.G. Gaston Motel once its $10m renovation is complete in the Winter of 2021. They plan also includes the development of an interpretive space in the building.
Historic 4th Avenue Business District
Here are a few stories to fill you in on this important part of town:
- Birmingham’s 4th Avenue Business District joining Main Street Alabama revitalization program
- 10th Annual Small Business Saturday Happening Nov. 30 in the 4th Avenue Business District
- 5 Birmingham barbershops plus two free haircut options—look for the story about the role Talk of the Town played in voter registration
- See Java Lewis’ 11 Birmingham Christmas windows (PHOTOS)
Birmingham Civil Rights District
Not only did the Civil Rights District serve as the setting for many of the events of 1963 that changed the US—and ultimately the world—but it also figures prominently in plans for the city’s future.
- Birmingham’s Master Plan Was Revealed and We’ve Got the Rundown. (PHOTOS included)
- Big plans for Birmingham’s Civil Rights and Innovation Districts
3. More sites included in Freedom Walk’s vision.
- The Prince Hall Masonic Temple
- The AG Gaston Office Building
- Kelly Ingram Park
- The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)
- Bethel Baptist Church
- St. Paul United Methodist Church
- Metropolitan AME Zion Church
- 16th Street Baptist Church
We’re looking forward to seeing how Freedom Walk develops over time. If you want to follow along, visit www.urbanimpactbirmingham.org for updates.