The Salvation Army is making progress to transform the historic Slossfield Community Center into a trade classrooms and event center. We got an exclusive tour of the center and learned a little more about what’s to come.
History of Slossfield
The old Slossfield Community Center campus consisted of a health clinic, maternity ward, a recreational center and an education building. It was officially shut down in 1954, then finally put on the National Historic Register in 2008.
The clinic provided health care by house call or in office visits. According to Abandoned Southeast, the facility also served as a training center for graduate students and provided health education to the public. The Slossfield Community Center served 50,000 Black citizens in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Southeast.
Located right next to the old center, The Salvation Army purchased the historic campus a few years ago to renovate it and build it back up to its ability to serve and provide hope to the community around it. The building will serve as an extension of their campus.
Full of memories
We had the honor of walking through history with neighborhood leaders, residents and friends this week as we got an inside look of the Slossfield campus.
People on the tour shared their memories of births, vocational classes, sports, Tom Thumb weddings, doctor’s visits and so much more as we made our way through the buildings.
The amazing people at The Salvation Army were so excited about the future of this place and were looking for input from the community.
What’s to come
The Salvation Army of Greater Birmingham said it has plans to turn the former Slossfield community center, located on 25th Avenue North between 19th Street North and 20th Street North, into a community outreach center that would revitalize what the space meant to the community in the past.
Plans include renovating the current gymnasium/auditorium building for an inclusive worship and performance space and creating meeting rooms for programs for seniors and after-school children programs. Major Robert Lyle told us he expects to see many different types of fine arts programs for children.
What do you want to see there?
While exciting plans are in the works, nothing is set in stone quite yet. The Salvation Army is looking for input from the community about what they want to see in the revitalized space and what they believe will best serve the community.
“The past, as wonderful as it is, has nothing on the future of what’s in store here. Lives can be changed here. Families can be made whole. We want to hear from the people this will be serving what they hope to see in this space. Whether it’s a warehouse, a church, a gym, offices, we just want this to change lives.”Major Robert Lyle, Area Commander and Corps Officer, Birmingham Salvation Army
If you have ideas for what could come from this historic space, let them know. They are happy to hear your ideas.
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