Birmingham’s back–tell the world

Regions Field first night fireworks

We need your help.

We’d like you to take action.

Do you know what’s really wrong with Birmingham?

We concentrate on our shortcomings and don’t celebrate our victories.

A funny thing happened while we were wallowing in self-pity.  Birmingham was being transformed.

Below are pictures of  our new Birmingham.  Many are actual–a few are renderings, but all  are well on their way.

PLEASE CONSIDER:

  • Forwarding to your friends
  • Posting on Facebook/Twitter
  • Commenting on good things we missed.

We’re doing great things in Birmingham.  Let’s tell the world!

Regions Field

Birmingham- Shuttlesworth International Airport

 

The Birmingham Baron’s Regions Field and Railroad Park are transforming downtown Birmingham.  A $33 million 245-unit and a $21 million 237-unit apartment complex have already been announced next door.

 

 

 

Next time you go to our Birmingham Airport, you may have to pinch yourself.  You won’t believe you’re in Birmingham.

Iron City

 

 

Iron City:  We now have a first class entertainment/music venue on our Southside that’s one of the best in the Southeast.  You won’t believe how this old automotive repair shop has been energized.

Our Lyric Theatre will look like the Wells in Norfolk

 

 

The Lyric Theatre, built in 1904 and across the street from our nationally recognized Alabama Theatre, is an exact replica of the Wells in Norfolk and when renovated will look just like it. The Marx Brothers and Milton Berle, who originally performed at the Lyric, won’t recognize it when completed.  Fund raising’s well under way.

 

UAB Student Recreational Center

 

UAB is the crown jewel of Birmingham, but you wouldn’t expect the UAB Student Recreational Center to be named one of the 25 most amazing Rec Centers in America.

 

 

 

Westin Hotel & Uptown

 

Birmingham’s new Westin Hotel and Uptown entertainment district are game changers.  We now have the opportunity to attract much larger conventions to Birmingham.

 

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

 

There’s nothing like our Barber Motorsports Museum.  George Barber, spent more than $80 million of his own money, excluding contents of the building, to build this world-class museum and track.

 

Red Mountain Park

 

Birmingham with Railroad, Ruffner, and Red Mountain Parks, has more square feet of green space per capita than any city in the U.S.

 

Children’s of Alabama

 

People bring their children from all over the U.S. to our Children’s of Alabama.  Most of us in Birmingham often don’t appreciate the world-class healthcare provided here. As a bonus, Children’s Hospital has changed the Birmingham skyline.

Rotary Trail

 

 

The Rotary Club of Birmingham recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and kicked off a fund raising campaign to transform this abandoned railroad cut on 1st Avenue South to a linear park for bikers and walkers.  The Rotary Trail will be a gateway between Railroad Park and Sloss.

 

Birmingham Zoo

 

If you haven’t taken your children or grandchildren to our Birmingham Zoo recently, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Trails of Africa, the Giraffe Encounter, and our new Dinosaur  exhibit will make your children squeal with joy.

Birmingham Crossplex

 

 

Other communities are jealous of our new Birmingham Crossplex.  Teams are traveling  to Birmingham from all over the Southeast to compete in this must see, state of the art facility.

 

 

Vulcan Park 

 

Vulcan and Vulcan Park are unique to Birmingham. Vulcan, the Roman god of the forge, was cast in 1904 and is the largest cast-iron statue in the world.

There is nothing like it anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Highlands Bar & Grill

 

Birmingham’s known as a hot spot for good food.  Highlands Bar & Grill, and Hot & Hot Fish Club are two of our many fine restaurants.  Recently, Saw’s Juke Joint was written up in the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

Birmingham Civil Rights Institue

 

This year Birmingham celebrates 50 years of Civil Rights progress. Our Civil Rights Institute is actively involved in efforts to improve civil rights for all people  and is the heart of our celebration.

 

 

Honda Indy Grand Prix

 

Birmingham now hosts a major auto racing competition.  Our  Honda Indy Grand Prix is the talk of the racing world and our Barber Racetrack is internationally recognized as one of the best in the world.

 

 

Railroad Park

 

Our Birmingham Railroad Park is special.  It recently edged out parks in New York City, Portland and Calgary to win the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Open Space Award.

 

Sloss Welcome Center

 

Sloss Furnaces first opened  in 1871 just a few years after Birmingham was founded. Sloss, now a national historic landmark, helped propel Birmingham into industrial prominence.  The new welcome center is under construction.

 

Birmingham Museum of Art

 

People from everywhere are amazed when they visit our Birmingham Museum of Art.  The quality and magnitude of our exhibits are just not expected in a community our size.

 

 

McWane Science Center

 

Hundreds of thousands of children and adults learn about our world and science at our McWane Science Center.  A new early childhood area is on the drawing boards.

 

 

Alys Stephens Center

 

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center is one of the most beautiful and engaging performing arts centers in the South.

 

 

 

All these venues are in the City of Birmingham.  Folks in our suburbs who think the City of Birmingham’s not needed, might want to reconsider.

This should make us proud.

Now tell your friends.

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

David Sher is a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham)), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

 

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24 Responses to Birmingham’s back–tell the world

  1. Jon Lewis says:

    The new Red Mountain Park has in credible trails and a zip line with much more to come on it’s some 3000 acres.

  2. David, I appreciate & applaud your efforts in highlighting & celebrating Birmingham’s many, many, many accomplishments & treasures to offer! Thank you for your efforts in this labor of love project to help us improve, & while doing so, to celebrate too :)

  3. julian brook says:

    *Keep it up.  One of my biggest peeves is when i hear someone say that nothing has changed in Birmingham in 50 years.  Only someone who is completely not paying attention can say that.  The evidence to the contrary is everywhere, from all of the pictures you included to the mix of people having lunch together at neighborhood “meat and 3″s.

  4. *Way to go David!  You are our city’s best Ambassador!  So much more good to tell as well!

  5. Thanks for reminding us of all the great resources we have in Birmingham and Jefferson County! I’d like to add the Jefferson County Library Cooperative to your list. Because of this organization, every citizen of Jefferson County is entitled to a library card which gives them access to ALL the public libraries in our county, 22 municipal public libraries with 40 library facilities. These libraries collectively offer over 1.8 million items for the education and entertainment of citizens. This is one of the few organizations that cross municipal lines for the good of the whole county. 

  6. Mary Jean Baker LaMay says:

    Wait you totally left out one of our greatest assets.  The BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART!  One recent acolade:

    You +1’d this publicly. Undo

    The Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art was named today as one of the 10 Great Public Spaces in America!!!! 

    DON’T FORGET there are currently more live theatre companies in Birmingham than you can count:  Red Mountain Theatre, Terrific New Theatre(TNT), Birmingham Festival Theatre (BFT), Theatre Downtown, Virginia Samford Theatre, Extemporaneous Theatre (ETC), Aldridge Reperatory Theatre, City Equity Theatre, UAB Department of Theatre, Park Player, Ugly Baby Improv, Bards of Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, Theatre LJCC Productions, Postively Funny Inc.  There are scores of local high school with fantastic theatre departments as well as Birmingham Southern! In addition there are many other area theatre companies just outside the city center in Leeds, Trussville, Montevallo and Alabaster.

    • Mary Jean Baker LaMay says:

      The sculpture garden news was a couple of years ago, not today, sorry I cut and pasted that sentence from the BMA website.

  7. Will French says:

    Obviously, not everybody has been concentrating on shortcomings and wallowing in self-pity. Plenty of people have been taking action.  Thank you, David, for pointing out some of these great successes!  I hope your column inspires even more people to join in.  What Birmingham needs, in my opinion, is less discussion of our problems (a.k.a. wallowing in self pity), and more work on our opportunities for improvement (a.k.a. ACTION).

    Here are two more projects that could have been on your list: new Ruffner Mountain nature center (complete) and new Sloss Furnace visitor center (under construction).  Thanks again for the positive post!

  8. Henry says:

    Great post David. It is amazing what one sees when their focus is on the positive. I have not experienced several of these venues so I will make a plan to visit them all this year.

    Henry

  9. Bob Davis says:

    *Another visionary project that will put Birmingham on the map is ramping up that would bring an Asian cultural education complex and Suzhou-style Chinese garden to the area.  With support from those visionary enough to see all the possibilities of such a facility and its programs in the metro,  it could become a reality that will be unique in the Southeast.  A preview can be seen at http://www.alabamaasiancultures.org.

  10. Beth Stewart says:

    David, seeing all of this great progress together is very energizing – thank you! We can also be proud of our Cahaba River. Offering a beautiful natural river and trails just 20 minutes from downtown, the Cahaba was written up in Smithsonian Magazine and the National Geographic College Atlas of the World as a global superlative for diversity of freshwater wildlife. The Cahaba has more fish species per mile than any other river in all of North America. The largest stands of Cahaba lilies on earth bloom in the middle of the river in May-June. Learn more and find out how to canoe with us to see the lilies and the river at http://www.cahabariversociety.org/recreation/recreation-on-the-cahaba/

  11. outta towner now says:

    *hi, 

    as someone who has lived in several large cities, including b’ham, and now lives “up north”, i can TOTALLY appreciate all the new and old things that birmingham has to offer. when you live in several cities in other areas of the U.S. your perspective is much more realistic than those who are born and raised their WHOLE LIFE in b’ham.,  alabama. every town has the bad and good of historical events, embarrassing government decisions and elected officials, destruction of lovely, vintage buildings and bleak neighborhoods and industry in need of a facelift. those with the negative impression of birmingham need to put on their “big boy boxers and big girl panties” and take a trial run at living in another city in the U.S. They can then come back with a fresh and realistic perspective of the lovely city they formerly called “home.” i bet their whining and complaining would decrease and maybe they would roll up their sleeves and start volunteering and sharing their skills and expertise closer to home……..

  12. *Don’t forget the recent accolades from USA Today for the Sidewalk Film Festival, celebrating its 15th year in 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/10greatplaces/2013/02/21/10-great-places-for-a-fabulous-film-festival/1937167/

    Over the year’s the Fest has been recognized by numerous other national/international publications- Time magazine (10 Ten Film Festivals for the Rest of Us), Moviemaker magazine (Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals, Top Fests Worth the Entry Fee) etc.. 

  13. Meg Guyton says:

    *I attended Birmingham-Southern College in the 1970s.  I liked Birmingham then.  I LOVE it now.  If our family wanted to move (from Tallahassee, Florida) to large city, our choice would be Birmingham – hands down.

  14. Cari Oliver says:

    *Birmingham sports a huge live theatre community from Terrific New Theatre (http://www.terrificnewtheatre.com/), Red Mountain Theatre Company (http://www.redmountaintheatre.org/), City Equity (http://www.cityequitytheatre.com/), Birmingham Festival Theatre (http://www.bftonline.org/), and Theatre Downtown (http://www.theatredowntown.org/) as well as two thriving improv groups, Ugly Baby Improv ( http://uglybabyimprov.com/) and Extemporaneous Theatre Company – or ETC (http://www.extemporaneoustheatre.com/).  

  15. *David, great list and photos! Thank you.

    Another national distinction for Birmingham that will appeal to those who value patriotism and education: The United States Senate passed a resolution in November 2013 citing National Veterans Day founded in Birmingham as the longest running celebration of Veterans Day in the nation.  Birmingham also is founder of the National Veteran Award presented here for America since 1954.

    Raymond Weeks of Birmingham petitioned General Eisenhower in 1946 to start the national movement to honor all veterans, hosted the first national celebration in Birmingham in 1947, and President Eisenhower signed the holiday into national law in 1954. President Reagan honored Mr. Weeks at the White House on national television presenting to him the Presidential Citizens Medal as the “driving force” to establish the holiday. You can see more at http://www.PatriotismInAction.us, which tells more about a program we started to get the history recognized by Congress and into more history and character education lessons in Alabama schools, plus publish a book that tells the story. 

    This November, our first Freedom Week will be held to Brand Birmingham for our national contributions to freedom connecting Veterans Day (freedom of life and liberty) and Civil Rights (freedom of civil and human rights). Mayor Bell will join us at the monument to the Founder of Veterans Day in Linn Park on November 10. I will make sure you get added to our progress report mailing list. Good work! David Dyson

  16. pnut166 says:

    I`ve always appreciated what Birmingham has to offer, but never understood why the city, county or state didn`t do more to promote BHam as a travel destination. As someone who has been to many zoos in the Southeast, I can tell you – we now have one of the best ones right here.

  17. Gail Daw says:

    David you must be the most loyal emissary in the city. Highlighting these wonderful destinations should be a reminder to everyone who has not recently visited Birmingham to see the beauty that has evolved. People here DO care. Thank you for your efforts.

  18. Pingback: Birmingham’s back–tell the world - Americas Housing Alliance

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