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Let’s Get Lost September 2, 2006

Posted by cbuchanan in Uncategorized.
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The recent discussion online and in public about the fate of the old Birmingham News building got me thinking about the local places and spaces that are no longer with us. So, in no particular order, here’s a top 10 list of lost Birmingham sites I’d most like to visit:

1. Terminal Station
2. Highland Avenue lined with grand houses
3. Vestavia (the estate with the round Roman temple-inspired house, not the town)
4. The gardens of the Massey estate on Red Mountain (now known as Red Mtn. Expressway)
5. East Lake Park when it had a roller coaster
6. Lakeshore Parkway–when there was a lake there. Can you imagine how gorgeous that valley was?
7. The Buffalo Rock lighted sign that once stood at Five Points
8. The Starlite Drive In at Eastwood (mainly for the sign)
9. A streetcar. Any streetcar.
10. The heyday of the downtown retail/theatre district with all the department stores

For images of many of these and other lost places, see Post Card Birmingham, another must-bookmark Birmingham site.

And turning to lost spaces that may soon make a comeback, I peeked inside the ground-floor windows of the Lyric Theatre the other day. Wow–even in a dilapidated state, you can tell that it was once was a showplace, packed with detailed decor. I’m so glad it’s going to be restored and cleaned up, but I enjoyed that look at the decay, knowing that the cracked, peeling, dusty walls and paint and ceilings, etc. were real and original and the same things crowds of past Birminghamians saw.

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