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Lost Birmingham Paperback – April 30, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

"Time has no mercy. The wrecker's battering ball is always eager. Fire is indiscriminate. And together they have taken a sad and heavy toll of structures which were once social landmarks, many of which grew up with the city and some of which are etched forever on the image of a younger, vanished Birmingham." ~ The Birmingham News, Dec. 19, 1971



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!

About the Author

Beverly Crider is a freelance writer with a background in media relations and web design. She is an Alabama native and proud graduate of the University of Alabama. Beverly currently travels the back roads and forgotten haunts of the state in search of material for her blog Strange Alabama" on al.com. Tim Hollis has been in the writing and editing business for most of his professional life and has authored more than 13 books. He has published See Rock City and most recently, Pizitz: Your Store with The History Press. Tim is Birmingham's resident nostalgia historian."
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Product Details

  • Series: Lost
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609499883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609499884
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cheryl C. Clarke on May 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in historical locations and riveting stories about the people and places of Birmingham, AL. Having grown up in Alabama, I was familiar with some of the places so richly described by Ms. Crider, but many were completely unknown to me. I really enjoyed the contrast of the many old photographs of the buildings and locations and then up-to-date photos of what remains of some of them now. I was very pleased to note how many are now under the protection of individuals or historical societies and will, hopefully, be preserved for future generations. The interesting anecdotes from older people who remember the locations in their heyday made the book more complete. My husband and I plan to take a driving tour of the city in the near future to try to see as many of these locations as I can. In future printings, I hope the author will consider adding GPS coordinates for each location. I have already purchased two of these books (one e-book and one paperback) and plan to buy several more as gifts. Highly recommended!
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Nice read, but much of this can be found in other books. Such as Birmingham, Then and Now (One by Todd Keith and another by J. D. Weeks). Even The Birmingham News has done feature stories on some, including Quinlan Castle and Hillman Hospital. And the fact that not one scrap of info on the Tutwiler was mentioned is a shame. The destruction of that building and the Terminal were both sad blots on the downtown history.

For those that have collected Birmingham books over the years, skip this unless it is in the Bargain Bin, or go back and read some of the author's Strange Alabama posts.

If you don't have any other books, then get this and the J D Weeks book and you should have the start of a nice collection.
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I bought this for my Grandson's Birthday. I wanted him to know and understand some of the history of Birmingham. Places that I knew and grew up with in the 40's and 50's that are gone now. If we don't understand the past than how can we know the future. Birmingham was truly a Magic City 50 years ago with great expectations. I hope we have more books coming showing more of the early history, the people, the neighborhoods, the diversity of the town's.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was born in Birmingham,went t school and then moved away. It was great to read about a lot of the history of things that I remembered when I was there and in school.I was very sad when they tore down the train station, as a child I always thought of it as a majical place and loved to go thru the tunnel under it.
Was very informative on places that I had forgotten or had not known about. I am still in touch with Cush thru a friends sight that is for Avondale, it was great to know she contributed to the history also.
It is sad tyo me that things that I saw and grew up with is torn down and replaced because these are things lost. This book helps to keep themstill with us today and as long as we have books. Thank you for the walk back in time.
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I have purchased 4 books from Amazon. I am so ecstatic about the read, I end up up giving the books away as gifts!!! Absolutely fascinating with impressive photos and details to locations. I want to take a tour to many locations!!
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I love stories about the history of my hometown and this book did not disappoint. I would have loved for there to have been more content but it was a good, quick read! So sad that so many of our Birmingham landmarks have been destroyed and in disrepair.
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By Miranda on September 18, 2014
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i wish more had been written about historic birmingham and less about the surrounding areas (like the first hotel in blount country? who cares!) the chapter on avondale factories was a little lengthy for me... it would be interesting to know more about jemison and the mountain terrace and ya know, how those houses and cliff and altamont came to be. history of norwood and mountain brook and all that. i would especially be fascinated by a history of Highland. the parks, the homes, the apartments. there are a few photos on the bham public library digital archive but nothing that really tells a deep history. but i suppose those things aren't "lost". just ...a different story.

the lakeview murders, the heaviest corner on earth, and of course the train station were my favorite chapters. really sad that the station is long gone.. oh, i could get depressed if i think about it long enough. the architecture downtown is so amazing. we're lucky some of the buildings are still here.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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