Autumn on the Green

Autumn is perhaps my favorite season in Alabama, for with it comes a respite from the summer heat along with a palette of vibrant colors that seem to soothe the soul. With the beautiful foliage beckoning from outside the office window, I couldn’t help but take advantage of the nice light that filtered into the Birmingham Green, so I set out to snap a few photos of our neighborhood.

 

(I should take this opportunity to point out exactly what lies across the street from our office.  For those who know me, they are well aware of my penchant for all things sweet, particularly cupcakes and frozen delicacies, so it should come as no surprise that our office is within a stone’s throw from Paramount, which just so happens to serve both.)

 

Across the corner from Paramount sits the Bromberg building, which once sold jewelry but now strictly serves as the jeweler’s corporate office.  Like many of the buildings downtown, this one has a special memory for me. Back when it still sold jewelry (and I was still in college), I made a short film about a jewel thief.  Despite the film’s premise, the store was very gracious and even let us use their jewelry as movie props.

 

To date, those are still probably the most valuable props I’ve used in a narrative film.  During the whole process, I couldn’t help but think back on an “Andy Griffith Show” episode where bank robbers pose as filmmakers.  In the episode, the town is star-struck from the idea of having a film being made there and is overly accommodating to the “producer’s” requests.  With that in mind, I suppose the recent comparison of downtown Birmingham to Mayberry is quite apt, and perhaps one reason why I feel so drawn to the area.

 

Continuing down the street, you get a glimpse of the “Heaviest Corner on Earth.”  A bit of an exaggeration, to say the least, the moniker was applied to the corner because of the almost simultaneous construction of four of the tallest buildings in the South at the turn of the century. Originally known as the “Heaviest Corner in the South,” the name blossomed into its current version, a token of Southern embellishment.

 

We have a clear view of the corner from our office, including the ornate details atop the Empire Building, one of my favorites downtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back towards the north, there’s the Frank Nelson Building, and you can see our office in the photo.  We’re in that corner window on the top floor with the shades drawn.

 

One thing I must note about the Frank Nelson Building is the enormous men’s restroom on our floor.  Containing much of the original marble and quarter-sawn oak stall doors, the room is almost frozen in time.  In comparison, the ladies’ restroom on the same floor is nothing short of a closet.  Though a bit surprising now, it makes sense when you consider the era that the building was constructed, back in 1903.

 

I will set out again soon to take more pictures of the surrounding blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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