Quinlan Castle demolition begins January 2022

Quinlan Castle in Birmingham. (Nathan Watson for Bham Now)

One of Birmingham’s most recognizable buildings—Quinlan Castle—is slated for demolition this month. 

On New Year’s Day, barriers on Richard Arrington Boulevard and 9th Avenue South were erected, closing portions of each street to traffic.

Statement from Southern Research

Quinlan Castle
Barriers erected on Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. on January 1, 2022. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

We reached out to Southern Research, who owns the Castle, about the impending  demolition. They provided us with the following statement.

“Southern Research expects demolition of Quinlan Castle to begin this month and to be completed by February. Ninth Avenue South and the left lane of Richard Arrington Boulevard will be closed near the castle during demolition, and these closures will remain in place during construction of a new biotech facility, which will begin at the site later this year. 

Southern Research
Inside Quinlan Castle. Photo via Southern Research

Quinlan Castle has been vacant since the 1990s, and its current condition poses a serious safety hazard. Constructed as an apartment building in the 1920s, the castle does not support modern life safety needs, and building experts say it cannot be retrofitted to meet these requirements.  Based on these serious structural issues, the City of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee in November unanimously approved demolition of the castle.

Quinlan Castle
Quinlan Castle in Birmingham. (Nathan Watson for Bham Now)

Investing in a new facility will allow us to build a center for pandemic preparedness, hire 100 new scientists and expand our work on infectious diseases like COVID-19. This expansion will enable us to double our economic impact to the benefit of the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County and the state of Alabama in the future.”

Strategic Move and Expansion

Southern Research
Rendering of the Southern Research building that will replace Quinlan Castle. Photo of rendering taken at the November 23rd Southern Research open house by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Earlier this year, Bham Now reported on Southern Research’s strategic decision earlier this year to sell a lab facility in Maryland and re-direct almost $20 million and 50 jobs to Birmingham. Funds from the sale of that lab enabled Southern Research to carry out the expansion

The new jobs and investment from the planned expansion will allow Southern Research to nearly double its annual economic impact to Jefferson County, to approximately $300 million. 

On November 23rd, Southern Research held an Open House providing an opportunity for the community to review plans for the site and provide input while unveiling a rendering of the new building that will replace Quinlan Castle.

Will you miss Quinlan Castle?  Tell us what you think on social media at @bhamnow 

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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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