Monday, February 16, 2009

A Crying Shame

Today's post is one of a series I'm  calling  "A Crying Shame".   It will  feature some of Birmingham's beautiful old landmarks that have  fallen into disrepair.  Sadly there are far too many. Every city has them, Birmingham is no exception.  While I realize this might be viewed as showing my city in a negative way, I disagree. These grand old buildings deserve to be appreciated for what they once were.  Maybe one day.........

This is but one of the many banks in Birmingham that have had as many name changes as Elizabeth Taylor!  In 1887,  Birmingham Savings and Trust Company was founded.  By 1968 it was known as Birmingham Trust National Bank (BTNB) .  By 1981 it was SouthTrust. In 2004 Wachovia gobbled it up.  I think this photograph of the old 20th street location says it all. Looks like bullet holes  doesn't it.  For the many that have lost their jobs along the way , maybe that's fitting.  This beautiful building has stood empty for as long as I can remember.  A crying shame!


Detail





24 comments:

Jill said...

What a gorgeous building V. Would make a nice museo.

Judy - So California said...

Hey V - A new project for you! Great place to start an arts and crafts collective. YOU could do it! I think the "bullet" holes are where beautiful gold or bronze letters used to be attached to the building. It is beautiful - as always - thank you for sharing. P.S. How did Kat do in the marathon?

Olivier said...

un superbe immeuble, j'aime beaucoup la photo du détail.

a beautiful building, I love the picture of the detail

Bibi said...

This is so sad. Here too there are many, many buildings with lovely facades that have fallen into disrepair and probably will be "simply" torn down.

Babzy said...

Beautiful architecture , could be a theater...

Peter said...

... and this even before THE crisis!

Halcyon said...

Je me demande toujours pourquoi toutes les banques dans le sud, même les neuves, ont des colonnes ? C’est quelque chose que j’ai remarqué ici à Jackson. Ta banque est très jolie et j’espère qu’un jour elle sera restaurer.

FireLight said...

Yes it is a crying shame. What can you tell me about the restoration of the Lyric Theatre? I also remember the Melba, the Empire, and the Ritz. Do they still exist? If so, any restoration plans for them?

Dystopos said...

This building was still a SouthTrust banking office in the late 1990s. I used to deposit my paychecks there when I worked downtown. I wonder what they did with the Mies van der Rohe furniture from the 3rd Avenue lobby...

The Lyric Theatre restoration is in an active fund-raising stage. No real work has been done yet, but the feeling of urgency has reached a higher pitch. I am not aware of any plans for the Melba, Empire or Ritz. The Rialto (1915 3rd Ave N) has been converted into a residence and furniture showroom. The Famous (on 4th Ave N) is the site of a planned residential and office development.

JM said...

Unfortunatelly this is the kind of scenery we all know, no matter what the reason is! The building looks gorgeous!

Virginia said...

FIre Light,
Thanks to Dystopos, I might have a lead on the Lyric. The others are sadly gone as far as I know.

Rambling Round said...

What details! I agree that it's a shame, and there are just too many buildings like this everywhere.

Babooshka said...

Well you know I already approve as I do this. To me it is way to maybe get someone to actually renovate/buy /rent, well just do something with the old dames. So much like the building of my native Birmingham, all Government owned.

Karen said...

Sadly, this is happening in so many places. Beautiful old buildings should be a priority for the cities. In Paris, so many of the buildings were being worked on and maintained. We should follow suit and do the same.

Marie-Noyale said...

And it may stay empty for a little while longer...
Ta photo de banniere avec les jonquilles me fair rever...

altadenahiker said...

Beautiful building. I always find it interesting -- the monuments, the temples we've built to money. In Pasadena, some of the old banks look like churches (and some of the newer churches look like Walmarts.)

Livio said...

Thanks Virginia for your kind comment to my Torino per Immagini blog. This is a very busymoment for my work and I don't care my blog.
Your picture in your blog are very improved, now are fantastic images of life. They transmit a very sense of quietness. I love them.
By the way Leonardo's drawings, they are still in tour around the world. In the meantime my wife and I asked to Biblioteca Reale when we can see them, but unbelievable these drawings will be show only for exceptional events like the Holy Shroud days or Italy's 150 years in 2011. So for these reasons is more easy for USA people seeing them than a Torino's citizen.

angela said...

In the city where I used to live a couple of old banks were turned into restaurants..worked pretty well and it was pleasant to look at all those wonderful features while you dined.
I think this series is a good idea. Some of these old buildings are real gems!

• Eliane • said...

SO I guess it is now Wells Fargo property. It's a beautiful building and as you say, symbolic of the banking industry setbacks.

PJ said...

I'm a sucker for architectural details...let's hope someone takes an interest, soon. Those mannequins and the red boots are kickin' girl!

Julie said...

Goodo ... this is one toe in the water ... I like ...

Lessie said...

Lovely details -- with nice perspective.

Virginia said...

Julie, I"ll let it rip here soon.
V

Dusty Lens said...

All about the architectural details, great job bringing these buildings to light.