From the Author
I grew up in Birmingham, yet I missed out on much of our history. I'm not old enough to have seen the Thomas Jefferson Hotel in its glory or viewed a play at the Lyric Theatre. I would have loved to have met Miss Fancy in Avondale Park, but, yet again, I hadn't been born yet. I was just a small child when the Terminal Building met the wrecking ball and I while I did see movies in the Alabama Theatre as a child, I would have love to have seen her "back in the day!"
To be honest with you, the landmarks I did see growing up, I took for granted. I visited the top of Vulcan one time and just accepted that the largest cast iron statue in the world would always be there to greet me atop Red Mountain. Amazingly, I never even noticed the zeppelin mooring station on top of what by then was called the Cabana Hotel. When I worked downtown, I must have walked or driven past the buildings of Birmingham's original skyline hundreds of times, yet didn't acknowledge their contributions to our city's development.
The Heaviest Corner on Earth? Never heard of it. Hillman Hospital? Sure, I knew it was part of the UAB Medical Center. I even worked in the Media Relations office at the University, yet I never really thought about what Birmingham was like . . . what they skyline looked like . . . when that little building, by today's standards, stood there alone without the massive medical center surrounding it. I never really thought about the important role it played in the health and well-being of our Founding Fathers (and Mothers).
Needless to say, I've learned more about the Magic City while writing this book than I ever did while growing up in the city. It's given me a greater love and respect for Birmingham and made me extremely sad about the loss of so many beautiful landmarks - many of which I never had the opportunity to see!