In the lead-up to the Loebs Fall Study Tour to New Orleans in mid-October, it’s timely to take a look back at an earlier tour to Birmingham in 2010, and check on the progress of a transformative urban project that was just getting its footing. Philip A. Morris (LF ’84) tells the story in photos.
When the Loeb Fellows visited Birmingham, Alabama, in fall 2010, the new Railroad Park was finishing its first growing season. Occupying 19.5 acres parallel to the elevated mainline railroad tracks through downtown, the flat, four-block-long site (formerly a railroad freight yard) had been transformed with topography, water and plants into an appealing open space. The light-industrial blocks nearby, it was hoped, would blossom into a mixed-use residential district.
The park, overseen by the Railroad Park Foundation and designed by Tom Leader Studio of Berkeley and Macknally Land Design of Birmingham, has attracted a diverse range of visitors with active programming. And the hopes for the district subsequently named Parkside are being realized. The photos tell the tale of what has happened so far.