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Old 05-10-2014, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,468 posts, read 7,266,287 times
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I certainly wouldn't have preserved that old wooden eyesore if the option were there. The Old Slave Mart above which Mutiny has outlined looks a lot more worthy of saving. Beautiful architecture.

To the subject.. why are we comparing Birmingham and Atlanta? This doesn't seem like a fair comparison.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
1,004 posts, read 869,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant131531 View Post
Yes, it didn't do a great job at preserving historic buildings. That's one of my beefs with Atlanta. Even in 1950, it had a large urban footprint, then just destroyed those buildings for newer buildings and/or parking lots/decks.

I mean, why would they destroy this building for an ugly parking deck?

http://historyatlanta.com/wp-content...ty-Library.jpg

What a shame. I can't help but think what a cool loft apartment building that could be today.

Atlanta also tore down most of its classic theaters.

I've never been to Birmingham, so I can't comment on the thread topic. I plan to visit this year.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:11 PM
 
29,761 posts, read 27,191,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
I certainly wouldn't have preserved that old wooden eyesore if the option were there. The Old Slave Mart above which Mutiny has outlined looks a lot more worthy of saving. Beautiful architecture.

To the subject.. why are we comparing Birmingham and Atlanta? This doesn't seem like a fair comparison.
Comparing their downtowns only is fair; those parts of the cities reflect their pre-war historical status as peer cities.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:48 AM
 
275 posts, read 314,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillinthesouth View Post
What a shame. I can't help but think what a cool loft apartment building that could be today.

Atlanta also tore down most of its classic theaters.

I've never been to Birmingham, so I can't comment on the thread topic. I plan to visit this year.
To be fair, most cities that experienced rapid growth tended to tear down a lot of its older buildings. Take downtown NYC (now the Financial District), which now looks nothing like Old City, Philadelphia. But they did during the late 1700's and early 1800's. This is because Philadelphia didn't grow as much (nor did it have NYC's geographical constraints). Thus, Old City survives. Similarly, New Orleans has a lot of its old architecture because it didn't prosper as much in the 20th century. The historic areas of NYC like the Village survived partly because they were basically slums and no one had any interest in developing in those neighborhoods. Same goes for Society Hill in Philadelphia. Kinda paradoxical-the unexpected benefits of deindustrialization
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:23 AM
 
279 posts, read 363,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigstick View Post
Here is the BRUTAL truth. When black leadership took over Atlanta they wanted to get rid of the old south past, no matter what that beauty above looked like, plain and simple fact. Atlanta was also severely affected by the massive "monied" loss of the Orly Plane crash in 1962. Those were Atlanta's movers and shakers at the time, and the destruction of these beautiful landmarks probably would not have happened if they survived.

BBC ON THIS DAY | 3 | 1962: 130 die in Paris air crash

Birmingham's a much "blacker" city than Atlanta is (73% of the population versus 53% in Atlanta), but it's much better historically preserved. Hell, there's even an old antebellum mansion located within Birmingham city limits, smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood that's probably 99% black today.

Your racist attitude is reflective of the "Old South". While I'm sure it exists in "New South" cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte (your post proves that), frankly it does seem much more entrenched in the "Old South" cities.

The difference between Old South and New South is much more than just architectural styles. It's the culture and the attitude. Atlanta has moved beyond the traditional black-white dynamic of southern cities and towns and has managed to attract a good number of Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. transplants. Birmingham, by and large, is still a black and white city. People there think of Hoover as "Little Guadalajara" even though that city's only 6% Hispanic.

When Birmingham attracts a larger number of transplants (especially transplants who are not black or white), then it can become more like the New South model epitomized by Atlanta, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, etc. As of now, for the most part, it's a town filled with people who are from there, their parents are from there, their grandparents are from there, etc.

I know UAB attracts a decent number of transplants but ultimately, the school and everything associated with it is a bubble. Frankly, if you went to Birmingham and all you saw was the Southside/UAB area, you'd walk away thinking that Birmingham is much more cosmopolitan and progressive city than it actually is. If you're from Birmingham, you know that the Southside has a totally different feel and vibe from the "real Birmingham", and I'm not just talking about black communities within Birmingham city limits, but the white areas located outside of city limits and across the metro area as well.

As much as black people and white people fight in Birmingham, a lot of times they both tend to be equally backwards and ignorant of the world outside of Birmingham, and outside of the age-old clash between blacks and whites. THAT is the Old South.

Last edited by JMT; 01-16-2015 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: inappropriate language
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:38 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
4,987 posts, read 4,043,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Wine View Post
Birmingham's a much "blacker" city than Atlanta is (73% of the population versus 53% in Atlanta), but it's much better historically preserved. Hell, there's even an old antebellum mansion located within Birmingham city limits, smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood that's probably 99% black today.

Your racist attitude is reflective of the "Old South". While I'm sure it exists in "New South" cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte (your post proves that), frankly it does seem much more entrenched in the "Old South" cities.

The difference between Old South and New South is much more than just architectural styles. It's the culture and the attitude. Atlanta has moved beyond the traditional black-white dynamic of southern cities and towns and has managed to attract a good number of Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. transplants. Birmingham, by and large, is still a black and white city. People there think of Hoover as "Little Guadalajara" even though that city's only 6% Hispanic.

When Birmingham attracts a larger number of transplants (especially transplants who are not black or white), then it can become more like the New South model epitomized by Atlanta, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, etc. As of now, for the most part, it's a town filled with people who are from there, their parents are from there, their grandparents are from there, etc.

I know UAB attracts a decent number of transplants but ultimately, the school and everything associated with it is a bubble. Frankly, if you went to Birmingham and all you saw was the Southside/UAB area, you'd walk away thinking that Birmingham is much more cosmopolitan and progressive city than it actually is. If you're from Birmingham, you know that the Southside has a totally different feel and vibe from the "real Birmingham", and I'm not just talking about black communities within Birmingham city limits, but the white areas located outside of city limits and across the metro area as well.

As much as black people and white people fight in Birmingham, a lot of times they both tend to be equally backwards and ignorant of the world outside of Birmingham, and outside of the age-old clash between blacks and whites. THAT is the Old South.
This is interesting. Do you see Birmingham changing its ways?
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:47 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 2,304,606 times
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Its funny how remarks like yours still show the oppression still brought upon Black people till this day. Welcome to America
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:00 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 2,304,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Wine View Post
Birmingham's a much "blacker" city than Atlanta is (73% of the population versus 53% in Atlanta), but it's much better historically preserved. Hell, there's even an old antebellum mansion located within Birmingham city limits, smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood that's probably 99% black today.

Your racist attitude is reflective of the "Old South". While I'm sure it exists in "New South" cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte (your post proves that), frankly it does seem much more entrenched in the "Old South" cities.

The difference between Old South and New South is much more than just architectural styles. It's the culture and the attitude. Atlanta has moved beyond the traditional black-white dynamic of southern cities and towns and has managed to attract a good number of Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. transplants. Birmingham, by and large, is still a black and white city. People there think of Hoover as "Little Guadalajara" even though that city's only 6% Hispanic.

When Birmingham attracts a larger number of transplants (especially transplants who are not black or white), then it can become more like the New South model epitomized by Atlanta, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, etc. As of now, for the most part, it's a town filled with people who are from there, their parents are from there, their grandparents are from there, etc.

I know UAB attracts a decent number of transplants but ultimately, the school and everything associated with it is a bubble. Frankly, if you went to Birmingham and all you saw was the Southside/UAB area, you'd walk away thinking that Birmingham is much more cosmopolitan and progressive city than it actually is. If you're from Birmingham, you know that the Southside has a totally different feel and vibe from the "real Birmingham", and I'm not just talking about black communities within Birmingham city limits, but the white areas located outside of city limits and across the metro area as well.

As much as black people and white people fight in Birmingham, a lot of times they both tend to be equally backwards and ignorant of the world outside of Birmingham, and outside of the age-old clash between blacks and whites. THAT is the Old South.
Thank you. The same can be said about many cities in the the USA. Raleigh has the same tricks as well. The newness and the original core vibe of the city have nothing in common. Black people hate these places and many others honestly. Oppression is REAL. Racism is barbaric and sickening.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:39 AM
 
29,761 posts, read 27,191,110 times
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Originally Posted by metro.m View Post
Its funny how remarks like yours still show the oppression still brought upon Black people till this day. Welcome to America
Not sure what you're getting at. I'm Black, BTW.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:31 AM
 
5,387 posts, read 2,254,314 times
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Well, Birmingham has an interesting history. Bear with me. There's a point to all this.

It literally did not exist until 1870 when people realized that all the major ingredients for iron and steel production were all in one location. As a result, it went through very rapid development. It was a boom town for its first 50 years. It grew so fast that it was nicknamed the Magic City, for it seemed to come into existence and grow as if by magic. It grew from 3,000 in 1880 to 259,000 in 1930. Atlanta, by comparison, had a population of 270,000 in 1930. Large immigrant communities such as Italians, Greeks, and Lebanese meant the city had a different character from most Southern cities.

As a result, Birmingham's downtown quickly grew with skyscrapers and, often, innovative design. The town, in its bid to become the next great American city invested a great deal in its large scale architecture.

The problem was that Birmingham was far too dependent on one industry. When the Great Depression hit, steel production almost stopped, and what steel production there was often sent to Pittsburgh. United States Steel, for example, slapped a tariff on any steel sold beyond a 250-mile radius from its plants. Yes, you heard right. United States Steel was keeping its own plants from selling products, because they wanted their Pittsburgh mills to remain their lead producers. The result? At the height of the Depression, there were only around 3,500 full time workers in Birmingham. That brought growth to a screeching halt. Then World War II came and good times came again. Birmingham and Atlanta were essentially twin cities in terms of population in 1950, with only 5,000 difference in total population.

But then came the 50s, 60s, and 70s, three disastrous decades for Birmingham, due to just horrid civic leadership. Of course there was the stupidity of the Civil Rights Era. But there were also some other boneheaded decisions on the part of Birmingham's collective city leadership. Scrapping the extensive trolley system was one. The allowing of the metro area to fracture into dozens of bedroom communities was another. And, not learning from the lessons of the Great Depression, the city remained dependent on the whims of USS.

So when USS closed its mill in 1979, local unemployment hit became the country's highest, neck and neck with Flint, Michigan. There's also ongoing debate on whether Birmingham blew its opportunity to host Delta's hub versus Atlanta in the 1950s. The consensus is likely not, but the city leadership also didn't really understand the opportunity, while Atlanta seized it with both hands. It says a great deal that no major building was constructed downtown between 1930 and 1970.

Fortunately, there was UAB and its huge medical center and a budding financial services sector. Before the financial collapse of 2008, Birmingham was the third largest banking center in the country with four superregional banks all headquartered within a five block radius of one another downtown.

All of which leads to the point that's relevant to this thread. Because Birmingham did not experience the boom that Atlanta enjoyed in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and only saw its economy come creaking back to life in the 80s, Birmingham inadvertently became a museum of late 19th and early 20th century architecture, from Florentine to Chicago School to Art Deco and more. Buildings that would have seen the wrecking ball in Atlanta were never torn down in Birmingham simply because the demand was not there. The sad exception? The gorgeous Byzantine Beaux Arts train station that was demolished for absolutely no good reason in 1969. To this day, people are outraged by this. The word desecration gets tossed about a lot.

Today, with a more diverse economy, a resurgence of downtown occupancy, and some innovative tax breaks for building restoration, it's interesting to see all these old buildings downtown being restored faithfully. For example, one superb example of Chicago style architecture is being turned into a prestigious Marriott format. Meanwhile, buildings that had been 'updated' with tacky 1950s and 1960s facades are now being restored to their original condition, too.

The transformation has already been astonishing. But I'm really looking forward to seeing what the place looks like in five years. Hey, not saying we're Atlanta. We will never be Atlanta. We essentially blew our chance to be the economic center of the South. But now the city is enjoying a reconstitution that is a helluva lot of fun to watch.
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