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O'Brien's Opera House
Just one of scores of Birmingham theaters to meet the wrecking ball
In 1878, future Jefferson County sheriff and Birmingham mayor, Frank O'Brien, bought 125 feet of frontage at the nor...
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Volunteers arise
BHC is seeking a volunteer to help with a summer Game Show performance.Read More...
We've moved!!
The Birmingham History Center moved Nov. 1, 2013 to 1807 Third Avenue North. The museum exhibits ha...Read More...
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See your answers to CAN YOU REPEAT THAT?

In June and July, more than 300 people answered survey questions about Birmingham history for our game show, Can You Repeat That? We covered the top five answers at the show. Here, week by week, we will publish the results of the other 20 questions.

The Northern Beltline is the proposed $4.5 billion highway that would complete the interstate bypass of  Birmingham begun with the I-459 bypass to the south. It is projected to be the most expensive road in state history, when finished—in 2048. This Birmingham News map shows the route of the 52-mile corridor and first 2-mile section under construction.

Out of 245 responses, 34 answered with the literal but neutral BYPASS or ENCIRCLE. Yes, the beltline will bypass Birmingham. However, counting the more emotionally charged responses, the top answer fell to the general category of HARM (also, RUIN, HURT, DESTROY, etc.) with 41 or 17% of all answers, followed at #2 with 36 responses in the positive category of HELP (IMPROVE, or BENEFIT).

Next, at #3 with 21 responses, was the more specific positive response, EXPAND, while nearly the same number of responders (20) held the exact opposite view, choosing to fill in the blank with words like DRAIN, WEAKEN, DIMINISH, and DIVIDE to describe the beltline’s ultimate effect. In the same negative vein comes the even more specific negative response, with 15 saying the beltline will ROB or BANKRUPT the city.

The remaining answers show 10 respondants think the project will invigorate the economy and clear unwanted truck traffic from downtown while others suspect the project will A) Never be finished, B) Will be confusing, or C) Have no impact. Only three people chose the word POLLUTE to describe the project’s environmental impact.       
Tell us something we DON'T know--
And someone did ...
Much of the historical information used in the History Center's Aug. 7 quiz show, Can You Repeat That? was mined from the website bhamwiki.com and its fastidiously accurate publisher John Morse. As part of our show promotion, we issued an offer of free tickets to anyone who could present information of historical significance to Birmingham that was not already in the bhamwiki.com website.

Only one person heroically succeeded, and his story about a now destroyed North Jefferson County wooden railway trestle is on our blog. Click here to read it: 
The latest from 1807 Blog Avenue

Objects and papers from downtown Birmingham's Pizitz building are still circulating...

Is photograph of a young Louis Pizitz, or some other member of the Pizitz family? This and scores of other objects, including oil portraits of the department store founder, recordings on disc (so far unheard) of the "Pizitz Opening" and "Legend of Louis Pizitz" on disc, recorded in the early 1930s, original property deeds, business papers, Depression-era advertisements, late 1960s Christmast catalogs and one curious parody of Pizitz' catalog, author unknown, entitled "Christmas with Contrast." Any guess what social movement was behind it? Click here to read the post and see more pictures.  
Can You Repeat That?
Even if you weren't there, say you were!
Souvenir posters benefit BHC
$12 gets you a
silkscreened edition
of the coveted
Yellowhammer Creative
poster commemorating
the historic show!

Buy one to remember
the event, if you were
there. If you weren't,
buy one to pretend you were!

Either way, proceeds benefit
the Birmingham History Center.  Call 205-202-4146 to purchase.
A current event
This building on 18th Street North is being gutted and remodeled for a a new restaurant with a familiar name--especially to those from Homewood.

Just a stone's
throw from
the Lyric Theatre
on 18th
this once-vacant
is being
for a live/work
space that will
house a
the ground floor.
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