Jazz, Blues & Nightlife in Birmingham’s Tuxedo Junction

The Bama Street Collegians led by Erskine Hawkins got their start performing at Tuxedo Junction before hitting it big in New York City. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Library.

The Magic City is home to countless cultural influences that contribute to our city’s vibrant culture. In the 1920s and 1930s, Tuxedo Junction stood within the Ensley neighborhood. Its dance halls brimmed with the latest jazz music and dances—including the Jive Dance which originated there.

By night it was the heart of the black community’s social paradise, and it will always be immortalized by Erskine Hawkins’ famous jazz tune “Tuxedo Junction”.

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Birmingham’s Ward Neely discovers antique letters inside hundred-year-old hotel. Photos included!

Inside the historic Eyers-Raden Building, one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham’s Automotive Historic District. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

As an amateur history buff, learning more about Birmingham’s storied past is one of the best parts of my job. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that a prominent Birmingham developer discovered hundred-year-old antique letters inside an old hotel. I quickly arranged to visit the building and see for myself. Here’s what I learned.

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Behind the scenes look at Birmingham’s Brown-Marx Building. Photos included!

Brown-Marx Building
The Brown-Marx under construction in 1907. You can also see the Woodward Building, the old Metropolitan Hotel, and the Frank Nelson building.. Photo via Hahn’s Historic Birmingham on Facebook

The Brown-Marx Building is the last skyscraper on the Heaviest Corner on Earth to get a facelift—but renovations are on the horizon. Learn more about one of Birmingham’s oldest skyscrapers.

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3 things you need to know about Birmingham’s proposed Freedom Walk

Freedom Walk
Here’s a vision that links a number of sites that played key roles in the Civil Rights Movement with different parts of Birmingham into a cohesive whole. Graphic via urbanimpactbirmingham.org

Have you heard about Freedom Walk—the vision to join three parts of Birmingham that were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement together for a brighter future? Read on for all the details.

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“A destination for innovation.” The Switch is coming to downtown Birmingham

The Switch
The pink grid is the area now classified as “The Switch.” Map courtesy of REV Birmingham

Downtown Birmingham just. keeps. going. Big plans have been getting announced left and right, and we are loving in energy in our Magic City. A new brand for Birmingham’s innovation district was just unveiled, and we’ve got all the details.

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$29 million renovation in the works for Birmingham’s Prince Hall Masonic Temple Building

Prince Hall Masonic Temple
A rendering of the renovated Masonic Temple Building. Photo via Prince Hall Masonic Lodge

A team of investors and developers have banded together to renovate the Prince Hall Masonic Temple Building in Birmingham’s 4th Avenue Historic District. Learn more about the future of one of Birmingham’s most beautiful buildings.

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A behind the scenes look at Birmingham’s Empire Building. Photos included!

Empire Building
The Empire Building while under construction on June 17, 1909. Photo via Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts

As one of Birmingham’s most beautiful skyscrapers, the Empire Building has dominated the city skyline for over 100 years. Since the building has seen many changes, it has a rich and storied history. Read on to learn more!

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A behind the scenes look at Birmingham’s John Hand Building. Photos included!

The John Hand Building in 1912 and 2019

When I first came to Birmingham, I became obsessed with its hundreds of beautiful historic buildings. I used to spend hours driving through downtown, marveling at the old structures. Of course, the John Hand Building immediately grabbed my attention. Read on to learn more about one of Birmingham’s famous (and coolest!) skyscrapers.

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A sneak peek inside Birmingham’s cultural jewel – Prince Hall Masonic Temple. Photos!

Mr. Dennis Simmons, Endowment Secretary for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge. Photo by Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

Have you heard of the Prince Hall Masonic Temple? Once the cornerstone of Birmingham’s black community, the Masonic Temple Building has since fallen into a state of disrepair. However, the Prince Hall Masons are determined to restore this historic building to its full potential. Hang with me to follow my tour through this cultural jewel of Birmingham’s history.

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Explore Birmingham’s historic theaters, past and present, from downtown to Five-Points South

Birmingham’s Galax Theatre. Photo via cinematreasures.org

Every night, the bright lights of the Lyric and Alabama Theatres are bound to dazzle both visitors and natives alike. I toured downtown to discover what remains of the 73 theaters that once made up the Birmingham Historic Theater district.

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