Friday, October 21, 2016

Birmingham Photo of the Day (52): Railroad Reservation

One of the big events in recent Birmingham history was the opening of Railroad Park in downtown in September 2010. The park was created from the Railroad Reservation, an expanse in the middle of the city's street grid that was 1000 feet wide and almost a mile in length. The reservation had been announced by the Elyton Land Company in January 1872 during Birmingham's early development. The train tracks are still active today, but the site is now also the scene of everything from concerts to yoga classes. This development has been important to Birmingham's ongoing transformation.

The undated photograph below was taken by O.V. Hunt, and shows the Railroad Reservation looking west across the Southern Railroad freight houses. In the near view is the 21st Street or "Rainbow" viaduct, opened in May 1919. The bridge is dedicated to members of the 167th Infantry Regiment, a part of the famed World War I "Rainbow" division. The large building in the distance was the Crane Company's plumbing supply house.  

The vehicles in the photo would seem to indicate the picture was taken before 1940. 

Source: Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

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