…of year when we wish everyone a great holiday. We’ll be back in January.
The last shot of 2011 is actually from 1963–Second Avenue North looking east from 19th Street (above). 1963 was a transitional year for Birmingham: downtown merchants were feeling pressure from suburban competitors (Eastwood Mall had opened a few years before) while the infamous Eugene “Bull” Connor finally left City Hall as civil rights protests swirled through central city streets. Downtown retailers would increasingly invest favorably in suburban branches, leaving the downtown locations to cater to lower socioeconomic classes. Over the next decades, many would leave downtown altogether.
As the City sees new life across many neighborhoods, there are still many challenges to overcome. Let’s hope 2012 brings Birmingham–and all of its citizens–much success. Cheers!
[thanks to Tim Hollis for the pic from his book Birmingham’s Theater and Retail District]