Tag Archives: Railroad Park

Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Rickwood Field--the oldest baseball park in America
Rickwood Field–the oldest baseball park in America

Each year from 2002 to 2008 approximately 100 business and political leaders from Birmingham traveled to cities across the U.S.

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce BIG trips were designed to discover ideas that were successful in other cities that could be implemented here in Birmingham.

Much was learned, but every year we came home and lamented Birmingham’s stroke of misfortune.

Continue reading Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

I challenge our children to make Birmingham great

Giles Perkins
Giles Perkins

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Giles Perkins.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Editor’s note:  Railroad Park transformed Birmingham. Against  great  odds and overwhelming skepticism, Giles Perkins and a group of committed community volunteers persevered.  I asked Giles to write this piece to give insight to those of you who would like to make a difference.

I think it was in 2002 when I made my first visit to the lot that became Railroad Park.

My sons were younger then–their sister was not born yet–but they came with me and brought their bicycles.  There was a burnt out railcar in the corner.  In the middle of the lot there was an old trailer with someone living in it.  A sign on the door said DON’T KNOCK UNLESS YOU ARE THE POLICE OR I WILL SHOOT.

We packed up the bicycles.  On the ground I found a rusted railroad spike.  I took that spike and put it on my desk as a reminder of the task I had taken on and the distance we needed to travel to have success. Continue reading I challenge our children to make Birmingham great

2010—the year that changed Birmingham forever

Birmingham Southside pre 2010
Birmingham Southside lot pre 2010

There are two important dates in the history of Birmingham:  1871 when Birmingham was founded and 2010 when Birmingham found itself.

I’ve lived in Birmingham my entire life.  I’ve always hoped for a better Birmingham, but I never imagined the Birmingham that is being created today.

Five years ago, except for UAB, Birmingham was frozen in time.

It was generally accepted that we could do nothing right—so why try?
Continue reading 2010—the year that changed Birmingham forever

Our good friends in Homewood should fund Railroad Park

Railroad Park
Railroad Park

The big controversy currently is whether the City of Birmingham should fund maintenance for Railroad Park.

I love Railroad Park as do many of you.  Almost everyone agrees it has been the catalyst for just about everything good that has happened to Birmingham since it opened.

First there was Railroad Park, then Regions Field, the Rotary Trail, and a then an unending list of announced projects.  When the modern history of Birmingham is written, it will be clear that Railroad Park changed everything. Continue reading Our good friends in Homewood should fund Railroad Park

Can Birmingham get over its low self-esteem?

David Sher

One hundred years from now, when historians write the history of Birmingham, 2013 will be the year they say changed everything.

Birmingham’s been called the “City of Perpetual Promise.”  We’ve been described as the “Magic City” at our zenith and as the “Most segregated city in America” at our low point.

We’ve always been a great place to live, but not a great city.  2013 will be the year Birmingham begins its long-hard journey to become that great city. Continue reading Can Birmingham get over its low self-esteem?

Birmingham: Young professional stopped in his tracks


Jonathan Pinnick
Jonathan Pinnick

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Jonathan Pinnick . (We love when young professionals are guest bloggers)

I saw something during a recent trip to Regions Field that made me stop in my tracks. It was so exciting that I had to tell almost everyone I saw for the next week.

It wasn’t anything about the ballpark itself, though it is beautiful. It wasn’t anything about the game, which was great and ended with one of the many wins earned by the Birmingham Barons this season.

No, what I saw were Continue reading Birmingham: Young professional stopped in his tracks

Thousands will move to downtown Birmingham

It’s easy to predict the future of Birmingham.

Birmingham’s usually the last to do just about everything.  So if you want to see what’s about to happen, all you have to do is look elsewhere.

When I was Chairman of Operation New Birmingham (ONB) in 1995, CBS42 was desperately trying to build viewership for their newscast.  They were practicing “guerilla journalism” to try to shock and surprise people to build audience.

One day at a public ONB function, a news reporter from TV42 unexpectedly thrust a microphone in my face and asked, Continue reading Thousands will move to downtown Birmingham

Birmingham haters—eat your hearts out

Alabama Theatre– one of nation’s most beautiful–Lyric next

Are you sitting down?

Birmingham’s being flooded with positive recognition.

Amazingly, most of these headline are within the past 30 days.

It’s enough to make the Birmingham haters scream for mercy.

Click on the headlines to see the story: Continue reading Birmingham haters—eat your hearts out

Should Birmingham have to pay for everything?

Nature class at Ruffner Park

I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort trying to educate one of my best friends, who I will call Bob, about the problems created by our segmented and dysfunctional governments.

But Bob loves to complain about the City of Birmingham—even though he knows it makes my blood pressure explode. Continue reading Should Birmingham have to pay for everything?

Birmingham is unique in so many ways

The Wells Theatre in Norfolk, Virginia

Look at the magnificent picture that leads this blog.  This is the Wells Theatre in Norfolk,Virginia.  It’s one of only a few theaters that still exist which was specifically built to maximize the acoustics and close seating needed for vaudeville shows.

The Lyric Theatre located in our downtown is a carbon copy of the Wells.  Built in 1914 major stars such as the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Sophie Tucker, Will Rogers, and Milton Berle played the Lyric.  Berle said it was “as fine a theater as any in New York.” Continue reading Birmingham is unique in so many ways