After serving on the design committee for Birmingham's new downtown Railroad Park, Philip Morris (LF 1984) has been active on the design committee for the new 1,200-acre Red Mountain Park. The park extends for 4.5 miles along the Red Mountain ridge west of downtown, an area dotted with iron ore mines that operated from the late 1800s until the 1960s. During its peak period, US Steel ran most of the mines as part of its consolidated iron and steel operation across the region.
A master plan developed for the Red Mountain Park Commission by Wallace Roberts & Todd has begun gradual implementation. With two different landscape architects retained to work on different areas, Morris suggested an in-house charette to establish the look of the park. The process led to the selection of a theme that evokes the industrial history of the property.
Thus, park furnishings and fixtures will be of straightforward design and construction consistent with the products of US Steel's on-site shops. The landscape architects are producing a pattern book to guide all future implementation.
The Birmingham community was very proud when Railroad Park was honored with the Urban Land Institute’s first urban open space award. The park is working very well as a place for all parts of the community to come together, a great argument for quality design.