Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sort of Nice but VERY Incomplete
on June 12, 2013
I liked some aspects of the book, appreciated the photo of Monkey Island at the Jimmy Morgan Zoo. The big glaring omission is that there is no significant mention of Birmingham's one and only Grand Hotel, the Tutwiler (previously the Dinkler, or Dinkler-Tutwiler). How the tragic and needless destruction of this palatial old hotel could be so IGNORED in a book about great lost landmarks is beyond all reason. There should have been mention of the strange and wonderful Vestavia, as well as Howard College. Strangely, still-existing landmarks such as the Lyric Theatre (currently in the process of restoration) are detailed, while true lost theatres such as the Ritz, Empire, and Pantagones are not mentioned. Hillman Hospital still stands in the midst of the University Medical Center--it is by no means "lost"; however, the original gothic-style St Vincent's Hospital building is nowhere to be seen. The grand department stores Pizitz and Lovemans are also omitted, possibly because there are other historical books devoted to them, so I won't complain about their being left out. Color pictures/photographs would have been most welcome, but I suppose that black/white illustrations make the book cheaper and thus more salable. What IS needed is Volume 2 of "Lost Birmingham" to make a more inclusive history of the "Magic City" which has lost so much of its magic.