Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) officials say a new public space is possible underneath the rebuilt Interstate 20/59 elevated highway through downtown Birmingham.
By Cary Estes
The March of the Millennials has replaced the White Flight of the 1960s and ‘70s. For several decades, urban areas throughout the United States – including Birmingham – steadily lost residential population to the surrounding suburbs. There were a variety of reasons for this, including racial and social issues. But the bottom line was that many downtowns were active only during business hours, with the buildings and streets becoming deserted beginning at 5:01 p.m. each day.
By Cary Estes
The view from the corner of 23rd Street and 14th Avenue North is actually quite lovely. That is, as long as you keep your gaze fixed in the direction of the downtown skyline and don’t look at the area immediately around you.
This part of Birmingham sits atop a small bluff, providing a nice panoramic view of the downtown buildings barely a mile to the south and the ridge of Red Mountain off in the distance. But turn around and you are greeted with the sight of a dilapidated abandoned house.
By: Cary Estes
It is difficult to bridge economic and social gaps when there is an actual bridge standing in the way. That is the situation Birmingham has been facing for nearly a half-century, ever since Interstate 20/59 was completed near the northern edge of downtown, creating a concrete-and-steel barrier between the central business district, the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex and the nearby neighborhoods of Druid Hills, Fountain Heights, and Norwood.
Repair it! Lower it! Move it!
(photo courtesy of wbrc)