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Blazer85

Leer Tower: Cabana Hotel going condo

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Former Cabana going condo

Sunday, June 19, 2005

MICHAEL TOMBERLIN

News staff writer

Modesto, Calif.-based Leer Corp. plans to invest about $20 million to turn the former Cabana Hotel into 65 condos and commercial space to be known as Leer Tower.

The 20-story, 158,000-square-foot building at 1631 Second Ave. North dates from 1930 and has been mostly vacant for 22 years.

"I think this building is perfect and it lends itself to this type of redevelopment," said David Leer, president of Leer Corp. "There is so much original beauty in this building, and we want to maintain as much of that as we can."

To read the rest of the story, continue here: http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/...7360.xml&coll=2

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Here's a rendering, though not very great:

leertower1.gif

leertowr2.gif

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

very pretty. Is it in the Northside of B'ham. Just curious. I was born and raised in Bham, bbut can't remember where the tower is located with respect to the CBD..

Thanks,

A2

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Yeah... it's on the northside on 2nd Ave N. and 17th St. (one of the closer high-rise buildings to I-65).

Here's an old picture of it... it was originally a hotel known as the Thomas Jefferson and was later renamed Cabana.

hotelthomjeff.jpg

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^ BTW, the mast on top of the building was a docking site for dirigibles. I believe the Thomas Jefferson was the only building in the south to have such a docking site.

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^ BTW, the mast on top of the building was a docking site for dirigibles.  I believe the Thomas Jefferson was the only building in the south to have such a docking site.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

awesome pic. I will be in the salty ham this weekend. Traveling from CLT to visit family. I am actually very excited to visit the New and Improved Vulcan when I come down. I will also be in Southside checking out the old hang out's. Hey, I heard the "mill" changed hands...Is this true??? BTW, any new spots off 20th that deserve my immediate attention upon arrival. Specifically in the Southside area. (any good bands playing at the Nick??? if you have the time. I don't have their web site)

A2

B)

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awesome pic. I will be in the salty ham this weekend. Traveling from CLT to visit family. I am actually very excited to visit the New and Improved Vulcan when I come down. I will also be in Southside checking out the old hang out's. Hey, I heard the "mill" changed hands...Is this true??? BTW, any new spots off 20th that deserve my immediate attention upon arrival. Specifically in the Southside area. (any good bands playing at the Nick??? if you have the time. I don't have their web site)

A2

B)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Unfortunately The Mill no longer exists. Dont worry though... there are plenty of places to eat around there. There are also some good places to eat on the northside now, but some of the best ones are a little pricey. Here's the Nick's site. I'm not sure what bands youre interested in or if you know any of these bands, but you can check out their site at http://www.thenickrocks.com/

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Here's a list of some of Birmingham's best places to eat. It by no means is all that there is, nor are these necessarily THE best, but some of the best.

Hot and Hot Fish Club

Chez Fonfon

Bombay Cafe

Sol Y Luna

Bottega

Highlands Bar and Grille

Surin West

Fish Market

Also, if you like the 5 Points South area, you might also want to check out the growing nightlife of the Lakeview District.

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Here's a list of some of Birmingham's best places to eat.  It by no means is all that there is, nor are these necessarily THE best, but some of the best.

Hot and Hot Fish Club

Chez Fonfon

Bombay Cafe

Sol Y Luna

Bottega

Highlands Bar and Grille

Surin West

Fish Market

Also, if you like the 5 Points South area, you might also want to check out the growing nightlife of the Lakeview District.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I love Hot and Hot. I actually know the chef who works there. Botegas is a classic. The sushi at Surin West is awesome ! But there is ONE place you forgot to mention. AND I THINK IT IS TRULY A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH !!!!

Drum roll please......

MILO'S

B)

I am getting hungry people. :D BTW, thanks for the link to the nick. I am bringing my fiance' to meet the parents.... :o

But seriously thanks for the link....(oh yeah, what's the Lakeview district???)

A2

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I love Hot and Hot. I actually know the chef who works there. Botegas is a classic. The sushi at Surin West is awesome ! But there is ONE place you forgot to mention. AND I THINK IT IS TRULY A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH !!!!

Drum roll please......

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Here's an excerpt from the Yahoo Travel Guide... mentions a little bit of both 5 Points and the Lakeview District:

"Southside: As you head south from downtown, the first significant change begins at about Sixth Avenue South, which is where the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) begins. UAB has one of the most impressive and famous medical centers in the country and regularly attracts some of the world's most renowned surgeons, educators and researchers (as well as some of the world's most famous patients). Locally, though, the Southside is known as the destination for entertainment, nightlife and fine dining.

At the intersection of 20th Street, 11th Avenue South and Magnolia Avenue is Five Points South, the epicenter of the Southside and home to many of the most exciting nightclubs, finest restaurants and hippest retail boutiques in Birmingham. Restaurants such as Highlands Bar and Grill, Cosmos Pizza and the Original Pancake House are all within walking distance, as are several excellent bars and nightclubs, including Five Points Music Hall and The Studio. This area is also home to many small locally owned shops and boutiques that cater to a generally young Bohemian clientele.

Intersecting 20th Street one block south of Five Points, scenic Highland Avenue winds through a part of town that was once the city's first suburb, passing three beautiful parks and leading to historic Highland Park Golf Course.

Forest Park: Just east of Highland Park Golf Course, the neighborhood of Forest Park stretches along Clairmont Avenue and hosts a small enclave of shops and restaurants such as Silvertron Cafe and Forest Park Deli. Just west of the Highland Park Golf Course on 29th Street South, the Lakeview Historic District is home to several fine restaurants, including Bombay Cafe and Sol Y Luna, as well as several informal establishments such as O.T.'s Neighborhood Sports Grill and Jim 'n Nick's Barbecue."

Here's a couple of panoramic shots of a pub in the Lakeview District called Innisfree.

pano1a.jpg

pano2.jpg

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Here are some suggestions for historic neighborhoods if you wish to see them. This is courtesy of another Birmingham forumer with the handle "Vulcan":

Forest Park: Take Eighth Ave South (University Blvd.) , which turns into Clairmont Avenue, very nice neoclassical and revival homes from 1910 through 1930. Visit the little Forest Park neighborhood commercial district located at 39th Street and Clairmont.

Highland Ave / Redmont:Take 20th Street South to Five Pts South, turn left onto Highland and just explore the whole area along the side of Red Mountain. Homes are from 1890s to 1930s.

Mountain Brook: Among the top twenty upper income cities in the U.S., Mountain Brook is located just South of Red Mountain. This area consists of mostly estate size homes built between 1910 to 1930 (some ranchers are located on the fringes), but this area screams "OLD MONEY - Alabama style". There are three neighborhood villages loacted in Mt. Brook: English Village - Located @ English Village Lane and Cahaba Rd; Mt. Brook Village - located @ Cahaba Rd and Montevallo Rd; Crestline Village - located @ Memory Lane and Crestline.

Homewood: Very nice commercial village, located just over Red Mountain from Birmingham. This area is famous for the 1920s California Bungalow and the "Hollywood" spanish revival homes. Just take Twentieth Street over Red Mountain from South Side Birmingham and you will travel into Homewood's commercial district - very nice.

-------------------------------------------------------

If you want more info about restaurants in Mtn Brook Village, Crestline Village, or English Village, just go here: http://www.ebirminghamal.com/print.php?a=1096

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Pepper Place is another unique little place in the Lakeview District. Here's the history on it courtesy of PepperPlace.net:

"Lakeview's first developments in the late nineteenth century paint a colorful portrait of the current district's history. The existence of a lake gave the area its namesake, as well as the accompanying Lakeview Hotel. The fashionable residences of South Highlands as well as an electric trolley constructed around 1895 surrounded the lake. Rolling hills and wooded countryside beautified the landscape. Seven years earlier the lake was the location for the dumping of three bodies by Richard Hawes, a railroad engineer who killed his wife and two daughters. The arrest of Hawes sparked angry, lynching mobs in the City of Birmingham. Later, a portion of Lakeview, now known as the North Lakeview Light Industrial District, was created in the early part of the twentieth century for a number of reasons.

During the late 1920's, depression-era Birmingham saw a need to diversify its economy from the steel industry. The Birmingham Kiwanis Club investigated the possibilities of future industrial development, stressing the need for a wider range of industries that would provide opportunity for the employment of women. According to a United States census in 1920, only five percent of industrial wage earners in Birmingham were women. The City of Birmingham became home to these new businesses, such as the Martin Biscuit Company and the Dr. Pepper Syrup Plant. The subsequent growth resulted in a district featuring warehousing and light manufacturing industry now known as the North Lakeview Light Industrial District. The completion of the 24th Street viaduct in 1926 also sparked the growth of the district. It is among Birmingham's 24 commercial revitalization districts that are guarded by design review protection.

The Pepper Place Complex is a focal point in the renovation of the Lakeview District. This highly visible project has been celebrated in several major magazine articles and a CNN television feature."

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I'm quite pleased to see that this landmark has been rescued at long last. Let's hope wthe work proceeds without a hitch. Too bad they won't return the original name though.

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I'm quite pleased to see that this landmark has been rescued at long last.  Let's hope wthe work proceeds without a hitch.  Too bad they won't return the original name though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thomas Jefferson or Cabana beats the heck out of "Leer Tower", that's for sure. Glad to see this gem is going to be restored to its former glory.

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Thomas Jefferson or Cabana beats the heck out of "Leer Tower", that's for sure.  Glad to see this gem is going to be restored to its former glory.

Latest news -- it appears as if Leer isn't doing the development after all. Look for the building to be developed by another group and renamed "Thomas Jefferson Towers"

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I'm quite pleased to see that this landmark has been rescued at long last.  Let's hope wthe work proceeds without a hitch.  Too bad they won't return the original name though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've got a couple of pictures of the Cabana on my Flickr account... see http://www.flickr.com/photos/techbirmingham/tags/cabana/

Here's a closeup (zoomed) picture of what remains of the dirigible tower referenced in an earlier post:

36320525_a440e9f271.jpg

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Latest news -- it appears as if Leer isn't doing the development after all.  Look for the building to be developed by another group and renamed "Thomas Jefferson Towers"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I guess that's for the best. Though we all want to see the old Cabana restored, we want it done right. And not many people liked the name "Leer Tower" anyway.

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Here's an excerpt from the Yahoo Travel Guide... mentions a little bit of both 5 Points and the Lakeview District:

"Southside: As you head south from downtown, the first significant change begins at about Sixth Avenue South, which is where the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) begins. UAB has one of the most impressive and famous medical centers in the country and regularly attracts some of the world's most renowned surgeons, educators and researchers (as well as some of the world's most famous patients). Locally, though, the Southside is known as the destination for entertainment, nightlife and fine dining.

At the intersection of 20th Street, 11th Avenue South and Magnolia Avenue is Five Points South, the epicenter of the Southside and home to many of the most exciting nightclubs, finest restaurants and hippest retail boutiques in Birmingham. Restaurants such as Highlands Bar and Grill, Cosmos Pizza and the Original Pancake House are all within walking distance, as are several excellent bars and nightclubs, including Five Points Music Hall and The Studio. This area is also home to many small locally owned shops and boutiques that cater to a generally young Bohemian clientele.

Intersecting 20th Street one block south of Five Points, scenic Highland Avenue winds through a part of town that was once the city's first suburb, passing three beautiful parks and leading to historic Highland Park Golf Course.

Forest Park: Just east of Highland Park Golf Course, the neighborhood of Forest Park stretches along Clairmont Avenue and hosts a small enclave of shops and restaurants such as Silvertron Cafe and Forest Park Deli. Just west of the Highland Park Golf Course on 29th Street South, the Lakeview Historic District is home to several fine restaurants, including Bombay Cafe and Sol Y Luna, as well as several informal establishments such as O.T.'s Neighborhood Sports Grill and Jim 'n Nick's Barbecue."

Here's a couple of panoramic shots of a pub in the Lakeview District called Innisfree.

pano1a.jpg

pano2.jpg

man, innisfree sucks. damned yuppies. give me the garage or blue monkey any day.

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man, innisfree sucks. damned yuppies. give me the garage or blue monkey any day.

See an attitude like that is the reason why so many young people talk about Birmingham in such a negative view. Tolerance is the key people for this region to proper not more ignorance. <_<

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