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Everything in Birmingham Alabama


Your one stop on the Web for everything in Birmingham is coming! For now read about Birmingham Alabama.


Birmingham (pronounced BUR-ming-ham) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Alabama and is the county seat of Jefferson County. Birmingham was named after Birmingham, England, one of the UK's major industrial cities. Birmingham also includes part of Shelby County. The population of the city was 212,237 according to the 2010 census, down form 265,515 in 1990 and 242,051 in 2000. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, as of the 2010 census, has a population of 1,128,047. It is also the largest city in the Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Combined Statistical Area, colloquially known as Greater Birmingham


Birmingham was founded in 1871, just after the U.S. Civil War, as an industrial enterprise. Through the middle of the 20th

century, Birmingham was the primary industrial center of the Southern United States. The astonishing pace of Birmingham's growth through the turn of the century earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Much like Pittsburgh in the north, Birmingham's major industries centered around iron and steel production.


Over the course of the 20th century, the city's economy diversified. Though the manufacturing industry maintains a strong presence in Birmingham, other industries such as banking, insurance, medicine, publishing, and biotechnology have risen in stature. Birmingham has been recognized as one of the top cities for income growth in the United States South with a significant increase in per capita income since 1990.


Today, Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is also one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. In addition, the Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial. Five Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Birmingham.


Founding and early growth

Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by cotton gin promoters who sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads. The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store Yeilding's. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for the nearby deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone - the three principal raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place worldwide where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in such close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a great center of industry. The founders borrowed the name of Birmingham, one of England's principal industrial cities, to advertise that point. Birmingham was off to a slow start: the city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. However, it began to grow shortly afterwards at an explosive rate.


The turn of the century brought the substantial growth that gave Birmingham the nickname "The Song of The South" as the downtown area developed from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid-rise and high-rise buildings and busy streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912 four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north–south spine of the city, and 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities stretching along the east–west railroad corridor. This impressive group of early skyscrapers was nicknamed "The Heaviest Corner on Earth".


Optimistic that the rapidly growing city could be further improved, a group of local businessmen led by Courtney Shropshire formed an independent service club in 1917. The group would later incorporate and become the first chapter of Civitan International, now a worldwide organization.[4] The Great Depression hit Birmingham especially hard as sources of capital that were fueling the city's growth rapidly dried up at the same time that farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work. New Deal programs made important contributions to the city's infrastructure and artistic legacy, including such key improvements as Vulcan's tower and Oak Mountain State Park.


The wartime demand for steel and the post-war building boom gave Birmingham a rapid return to prosperity. Manufacturing diversified beyond the production of raw materials and several major cultural institutions, such as the Birmingham Museum of Art, were able to expand their scope.







© John R. Taylor

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