Did you know that the Anderson Place Historic District, just outside of Five Points South, features some of the oldest (and in my humble opinion, prettiest) residential houses in Birmingham? We took a stroll through the neighborhood to learn more!
Anderson Place Historic District
Roughly bounded by 14th and 16th Avenue and 16th and 18th Street, the Anderson Place Historic District is one of three historic districts in the Five Points South neighborhood. The district was developed by J. Cary Thompson, a prominent Birmingham developer in the early 20th century.
In the early 1900s, J. Cary Thompson purchased forty acres on the slopes of Red Mountain for development as a residential suburb. During this time, the area was considered remote, and one resident claimed it felt like moving to the country, noting that one “could hear the owls at night.” However, that would change in 1907, when Thompson got a streetcar line to connect Anderson Place with downtown Birmingham via 15th Street. By 1910, Anderson Place was considered one of the finest residential neighborhoods in the city, with gorgeous Bungalow/Craftsman, Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival-style houses.
The Anderson Place Historic district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. According to the National Register of Historic Places, Anderson Place is, “significant for its fine collection of early 20th century houses…Most are large two-story vernacular homes influenced by Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival styles.”
1. J. Cary Thompson Home
- Address: 1631 15th Avenue South
- Built: circa 1905
Our first stop in Anderson Place is the old J. Cary Thompson house, built around 1905. This two-and-a-half Tudor Revival style house (one of my favorite architectural styles, by the way) features a brick & stucco exterior, a gabled roof and a one-story porch. Unfortunately, the home currently sits abandoned and neglected.
2. Andrews-Smith House
- Address: 1912 14th Avenue South
- Built: circa 1899
Built c.1899, the historic Andrews-Smith House currently houses the Oasis Counseling For Women and Children. To my architecturally-layman’s eyes, this home seems to incorporate aspects of Bungalow and Queen Anne style architecture.
3. Rogers House
- Address: 1905 14th Avenue South
- Built: circa 1900
Across the street sits this gorgeous Colonial Revival style house. Built c.1900, it is now the offices of the Burton Law Firm. Although Queen Anne style architecture was most popular from the late 1880s to the early 1900s, Colonial Revival began to take hold after the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. The Rogers Building features striking Ionic columns, reminiscent of an ancient Greek temple, and charming red brick walls.
4. S. N. Feinstone House
- Address: 1525 15th Avenue South
- Built: circa 1915
Next, we’ll hop over to 15th Avenue South. According to the National Register of Historic places, the home was built in c.1915 and owned by a S. N. Feinstone.
5. Robertson-Long House
- Address: 1426 16th Street South
- Built: circa 1910
Built c.1910, this two-story house features a hipped roof with a center parapet, a wood shingled second story, and a hip roofed one- story porch, with gorgeous stone pier supports. Based on my layman’s knowledge of architectural styles, I believe this home to be one of the Arts & Crafts Bungalow-style homes mentioned by the National Register of Historic Places—but don’t quote me on it!