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tedo420

Birmingham Picture of the Day

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Great pictures. I'm not sure what you mean by Birmingham being too urban or not enough green spaces. Birmingham is 1st in America for amount of green space per 1,000 residents. Here's an excerpt from the Birmingham News addressing what I'm talking about:

We

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....Birmingham is luck in that it was one of the few planned cities in the south. The downtown Grid layout makes it easy to get around. But that can be fixed over time, Huntsville has a nice park-like downtown.  Birmingham is really too dense for a city its size, needs more parks, open space. They've gotten obsessed with saving old buildings.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tedo, I'm replying to this here because I didn't want to hijack the other thread.

I agree with you that the downtown grid makes Birmingham easy to get around in. I'm a big fan of planned cities on a grid, such as NYC (Manhattan) and Savannah.

However, I strongly disagree that Birmingham is too urban. That urban character is a strength. You're right that the city probably needs more downtown park space to break up the mechanistic grid a bit, but I think the railroad reservation park will nicely fill that need.

Saving old buildings preserves the historic character and cohesiveness of the city. We don't need to bring suburban design principles downtown. Towers in a park (read parking lot) do not make great cities.

If those old buildings were torn down, they would be replaced with nothing but empty asphault.

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Yes, I agree with you about the grid system. It will be helpful in the future, something that most all southern cities don't have. It goes hand in hand with my comment about Birmingham being a Northern type southern city. I'm not saying that Birmingham needs to tear down every old Building, but there are some structures that are not pleasing to the eye. These might be industrial buildings, or car lots, butler buildings, Birmingham has lots of these, mostly in Midtown. If your driving through Birmingham for these first time on I-65 what do you see? I've had out f town friends ask me where are all the trees. Birmingham needs to get a fast track plan to turn some of these into parks or better looking new buildings all in the DPZ design, I hate the Suburbs; office parks, strip centers, interstates; even though we all most likely lived there at one time.

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The Railroad Reservation Park will be very nice. It will be a long strip of green space from I-65 all the way over to the Elton B. Stephens Highway (US31) and beyond over into Lakeview. It will be nicely landscaped with trees, grass, bushes, flowers, etc. I do wish that more of our downtown streets had trees lining the road... or at least large bushes or something. Many of the streets arent particularly pedestrian friendly (except around Lynn Park or down further into 5 Points).

BTW, here are some helpful links about a couple future large Birmingham green spaces.

Red Mountain Park- http://www.redmountainpark.org/

Railroad Reservation Park- http://www.railroadpark.org/home.html

Edited by Blazer85

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All of Florida's major cities have gridded streets and most cities in the South do as well. What's unique about Birmingham is that, due to it declining in the mid-20th century, it was able to avoid destroying most of its historic landscape for urban renewal projects, something that so-called "progressive" cities took part in.

Now that the historical landscape has been largely preserved the city must find away to take advantage of this. The Railroad Preservation Project sounds very good, because I too noticed that the downtown area lacked urban park space big time. As downtown attracts more residents its going to be very important for the city to find a way to accomodate more park space, as well as provide for more entertainment in downtown. Connecting it to the UAB/Five Points area by streetcar would be a great start.

What's the time range for the railroad park project? Are they planning to pull up the railroad tracks? If so, how will freight get around town?

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^ No, the railroad tracks will not be pulled up. As a matter of fact, the railroad tracks will be incorporated into the park. Some have hopes of getting a more travel-friendly environment in hopes of getting train passenger traffic coming through Birmingham. Dont know how realistic that is, but no question the railroads will be a big theme for the park.

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Yes, I agree with you about the grid system. It will be helpful in the future, something that most all southern cities don't have. It goes hand in hand with my comment about Birmingham being a Northern type southern city. I'm not saying that Birmingham  needs to tear down every old Building, but there are some structures that are not pleasing to the eye. These might be industrial buildings, or car lots, butler buildings, Birmingham has lots of these, mostly in Midtown. If your driving through Birmingham for these first time on I-65 what do you see? I've had out f town friends ask me where are all the trees.  Birmingham needs to get a fast track plan to turn some of these into parks or better looking new buildings all in the DPZ design, I hate the Suburbs; office parks, strip centers, interstates; even though we all most likely lived there at one time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, some of those industrial buildings, particularly in midtown, are definitely eyesores. I certainly don't advocate preserving buildings without architectural merit. I agree with you that traditional urban development along DPZ lines is the way to go.

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These are nice photos. I took five of them. Those that were taken by me are licensed under a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial republication as long as I am credited and a copy of or link to the license is attached.

The photos taken by Larry O. Gay are copyrighted to him and you would need to contact him for permission to use them. Same with the other photos from the Museum website, etc.

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Yeah, some of those industrial buildings, particularly in midtown, are definitely eyesores. I certainly don't advocate preserving buildings without architectural merit. I agree with you that traditional urban development along DPZ lines is the way to go.

Difficult as it may be to believe, ornate Victorian buildings were considered eyesores in the 1960s. Aesthetic fashions are a dangerous way to judge architectural merit. Clasically, architecture values fitness and durability alongside beauty. If a building is well-suited to its purpose and in good physical condition, it would be a shame to haul it, broken into dumpster-loads, into a landfill and then staple up an unmaintainable pile of historicist dryvit in its place.

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Picture of the Day: October 3, 2005

Temple Emanuel

Sample Post

TempleEmanuelBirmingham.jpg

Temple Emanuel - A Jewish Postcard

You all have posted great pictures here for Birmingham that would make wonderful pictures of the day! You don't have to worry about me posting many, or maybe any, since I don't get to Birmingham enough to take any shots. But share Birmingham's story with us through pictures... it'll be fun! :D

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Picture of the Day: October 5, 2005

Episcopal Church of the Advent

Taken September 29, 2005

49236113_5f9b2f623a.jpg

The scaffold has finally come down after the masonry preservation and repointing project that began in 2001. You can't tell that much has been done, but it's got it where it counts. (We made a lot of special modifications ourselves.)

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