Design for new 16th Street Baptist Church Visitor Center approved by Birmingham [PHOTOS]

16th Street Baptist Church
New visitors and educational center at 16th Street Baptist Church rendering (CCR Architecture)

The city of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee approved today the design of a new 16th Street Baptist Church Multi-Purpose Visitor and Educational Center building.

Details about the new 16th Street Baptist Church Visitor Center

16th Street Baptist Church
New visitors and educational center at 16th Street Baptist Church rendering (CCR Architecture)

According to Birmingham-based CCR Architecture, the 13,000 square foot two-story building will enhance the historic parish’s ability to receive tourists and organizations visiting the church. 

The visitor center will be located adjacent to the existing church Parsonage and Sanctuary buildings.

Amenities include:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Dining area
  • Commercial kitchen 
  • Support space to relieve the volume of tourists visiting the existing Sanctuary Building

Very respectful of 16th Street Baptist Church

“I am very impressed with the design,” Richard Mauk, Chair of the Design Review Committee told Bham Now. “It complements the historic atmosphere of part of the Civil Rights Museum. It meets the future needs of the Civil Rights district going forward. We’re very pleased with it and look forward to seeing the finished product.”

In a comment directed toward CCR Architecture’s Roman Gary, who gave the presentation to the committee, new Design Review Committee member Cheryl Morgan said:

“I saw some of the earlier iterations (designs of the building). I think you landed in a good place—it is very respectful of the church.”

16th Street Baptist Church —A sacred place

Welsh Delegation at 16th Street Baptist Church
(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

One of Birmingham’s oldest churches and site of the September 15, 1963 bombing that killed four little girls attending Sunday school, the 16th Street Baptist Church is now part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

“This new building addition will symbolize the movement from ‘a dark past’ to a new light of hope and vision for the entire community. We are committed to preserving this important legacy and continuing the fight for social justice and equality for all people.” 

~ Rev. Arthur Price, Jr., pastor of the 16th Street Baptist Church 

Construction on the visitor center is expected to begin later this year and will be completed in 2024, according to the church.

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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