Birmingham supports Legion Field national historic landmark efforts

Legion Field
Legion Field. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved today a resolution supporting efforts to designate Legion Field as a national historic landmark. 

Submitted by Council President William Parker and District 5 Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, the resolution calls on Legion Field to be added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) with the United States Department of Interior.

Lions at Legion Field
The lions at Legion Field. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Wrigley Field and Fenway Park

Last month, Wrigley Field received the national historic landmark designation joining Fenway Park as the second Major League Baseball to receive such an honor.

National Historic Landmark designation is given to buildings, sites, structures, districts and objects that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be significant in American history and culture. There are almost 2,600 of these sites throughout the country, including Mount Vernon, Pearl Harbor, the Apollo Mission Control Center, Alcatraz and the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to ESPN, Fenway Park’s historic landmark designation enabled the Boston Red Sox to take advantage of approximately $40 million in tax credits.

The Old Gray Lady

IMG 1411 Birmingham supports Legion Field national historic landmark efforts
2019 Magic City Classic. Alabama A&M University Marching Band spelling out Cup Cake in memory of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Currently home to the Magic City Classic and the Birmingham Bowl, the historic stadium was built in 1927.  From 1948 to 1988 the annual Iron Bowl was played at “The Old Gray Lady.” Other notable games and events include the first two SEC Football Championships, 1996 Olympic, the Rolling Stones concert, and countless historic high school football games.   

“The purpose of this resolution is to reinforce the history that is already there. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people have memories of  spectacular plays during pivotal games, or perhaps they went to a Rolling Stones concert and U.S Olympic Soccer. The structure and the place is worthy of the designation. Zooming out and looking at Smithfield as a community, it is one of the many levers we are using to drive investment into the community.

Darrell O’Quinn
Legion Field Birmingham
Paul “Bear” Bryant monument at Legion Field. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Wearing a “Save Legion Field” t-shirt at the council meeting, William Parker added, “We need to ensure that Birmingham’s history and this stadium are preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

What do you think?  Should Legion Field be designated a National Historic Landmark? Visit our social media channels – and make a comment.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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