chapter  4
14 Pages

2 Birmingham, AL: Railroad Park

If the best laid plans build off of previous endeavors, then Railroad Park profited from a sustained series of planning efforts over many generations. In fact, initial plans for a comprehensive open space network through downtown Birmingham (and Jefferson County) go back as far as 1924 with the publishing of A Park System for Birmingham by the Olmsted Brothers. In addition to addressing storm water and floodplain issues along the creeks, recommending new neighborhood parks and expanding existing ones, the plan promoted “a well thought out system of recreational amenities for the thriving industrial center” (Birmingham Historical Society, 2006). The impulse to reserve vast tracts of land downtown for recreation and beautification would persist in the public’s consciousness even after resources for the plan’s implementation diminished in the 1930s and 1940s.