A walk in 5 historic Birmingham neighborhoods, including Forest Park

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Birmingham, Forest Park
One of the charming buildings in Forest Park Village. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

After living in Birmingham for nearly 6 years, I’ve come to love and appreciate the beautiful historic neighborhoods throughout The Magic City. I decided to learn more about a few of my favorites (and yes, I might be biased!).

Want to learn more about living in Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods? Reach out to the experts at LAH Real Estate to find your dream home.

1. Forest Park

Birmingham, Forest Park
The charming Forest Park Village reminds me of my hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Okay, let’s talk about that bias. As a resident of Forest Park, I’ve spent a good deal of time in the neighborhood, walking around and viewing the historic homes.

This historic neighborhood, just southeast of downtown Birmingham, traces its roots to the early 1900s. In 1906, the Jemison Land Company began developing residential neighborhoods in the area. Residents in Forest Park had easy access to downtown Birmingham via streetcar.

File:Lakeview Park postcard color.jpg
The Lakeview Park lake around 1911, now the site of Highland Park Golf Course in Forest Park. Photo via BhamWiki

In Forest Park, you can find hundreds of beautiful historic homes built in the early 1900s—built in styles such as Tudor Revival, Bungalow, Neo-Classical, Queen Anne and more. In addition, the charming Forest Park Village offers cute little shops, such as:

Ready to call Forest Park your home? Click here to learn more.

2. Avondale

Birmingham, Avondale Park
When the Avondale Land Company purchased the land in 1887, the previous owner specified that 40 acres of the land be laid aside for a public park—Avondale Park. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

In 1887, a group of men purchased the land now known as Avondale with the intent to build a new suburb for the infant city of Birmingham. The name Avondale originated in Scotland, meaning “valley of the River Avon.”

It makes sense that Avondale should get its name from an ancient river across the pond. In fact, one of Avondale’s distinguishing features is its natural, freshwater spring. Proclaimed as the sweetest water in the area, water from the Avondale Spring was often brought to downtown Birmingham and sold by the barrel.

Avondale Cotton Mill
The Avondale Cotton Mill, as seen in this 1908 photograph by Isidore Newman & Son. Photo via Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives & Manuscripts

Industries such as the Avondale Cotton Mill drew in new residents by the hundreds. By the time Avondale was annexed into Birmingham in 1907, its population had jumped to over 5,000.

Avondale has seen a resurgence in recent years, especially after Avondale Brewing Company opened in 2011. In fact, the Birmingham City Council recently voted to designate Avondale as the city’s 4th entertainment district. Nowadays, you can find all sorts of fun things to do in Avondale, such as:

  • Grab a bite at Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Melt, Post Office Pies, Luna Latin Cuisine and (yum!) Big Spoon Creamery.
  • Hangout with a drink & see live music at Avondale Brewing Company, Saturn, 41st Street Pub and Aircraft Sales and more.

Ready to call Avondale your home? Click here to learn more.

3. Woodlawn

Woodlawn High
Woodlawn High School. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

East of Avondale lies of one Birmingham’s most charming communities: Woodlawn. Woodlawn can trace its roots all the way back to 1815, when a group of farming families—led by Obadiah Washington Wood—settled in the area. By 1891, the community had grown to over 1,500 residents and was incorporated as the City of Woodlawn. Then, in 1910, Woodlawn was officially incorporated into Birmingham as a part of the Greater Birmingham Campaign.

Woodlawn in the 20th century
This early 20th century photo, taken by O.V. Hunt, shows 1st Avenue North looking east from 55th Street in Woodlawn. Photo via Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives & Manuscripts

Now, Woodlawn is a hip area bursting with creativity. Although we were sad to see the closing of the Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, there is still a lot to do and see in Woodlawn: murals, new green spaces and tons of charming shops. Plus, you’ll have to stop by and grab a bite at Fat Mama’s Lunch Box or Bayles Restaurant and Catering! And that’s not all—the new i3 Academy is coming to Woodlawn in 2021, and the residents could not be more excited.

Ready to call Woodlawn your new home? Click here to learn more.

4. Roebuck Springs

Roebuck
Roebuck Springs was established in 1910 and has historic homes on every corner! Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

Just like Avondale, Roebuck Springs gets its name from a natural spring. In 1850, a man named George Roebuck built his log cabin near the spring—and the rest is history. In 1909, the East Lake Land Company purchased a large swath of land in the area for a new subdivision. With the recent advent of the automobile, residents in this neighborhood didn’t have to rely on streetcars to get to downtown Birmingham, so architects were able to design the Roebuck neighborhood with larger estates than streetcar suburbs close to town.

Inside Roebuck, you can find houses designed in some of my favorite architectural styles—such as Craftsman and Tudor Revival. Residents love the easy access to Ruffner Mountain, one of Birmingham’s most beautiful parks and the nearby East Lake Park.

Ready to call Roebuck your home? Click here to learn more.

5. Five Points South

Five Points South
The heart of Five Points South, featuring the one-of-a-kind Highlands United Methodist Church. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

For 6 years, the town of Highland on the slopes of Red Mountain operated independently of Birmingham. After Highland become annexed as a part of Birmingham in 1893, the area thrived as a popular streetcar suburb. While the “downtown” area of Five Points South featured several mid-rise apartments, the landscape was dotted with stately townhomes. In fact, some of the oldest (and in my opinion, prettiest) homes in Birmingham are located in the nearby Anderson Place Historic District.

Five Points South Circle
The Five Points South circle in 1910, originally published by Davis Advertising & Sales Company. To the right, you can see the nearly-complete Highlands United Methodist Church—missing its steeple. Photo via Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives & Manuscripts

Now, Five Points South is one of Birmingham hippest areas. With iconic landmarks like the historic Highlands Methodist Church, award-winning restaurants like Highlands Bar & Grill and so much more, Five Points South is an emerging destination like no other. In fact, Five Points South was recently declared Birmingham’s newest entertainment district!

Ready to call Five Points South your new home? Click here to learn more.

Looking for a beautiful home in a historic neighborhood?

LAH Real Estate
The all-star team at the LAH Real Estate Crestline branch. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

If you’re on the lookout for a one-of-a-kind home in one of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods, do yourself a favor and reach out to the experts at LAH Real Estate. With unparalleled knowledge of the Birmingham area, the team at LAH Real Estate is perfectly positioned to help you find your dream home.

Reach out to the team at your local branch to get started:

What is your favorite historic neighborhood in Birmingham? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.