2010: 212,237, #97 in U.S., #1 in Alabama

1950: 326,037, #34 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 1,128,047, #49 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 558,928, #27 in U.S.


Birmingham was founded in 1871 at a planned crossing of two railroads near deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone. The city became a steel-making center ("The Pittsburgh of the South") in the early 20th century. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is on the south side of downtown.


Tallest building: Wells Fargo Tower, 454 ft. (1986)

List of tallest buildings

Four large office buildings, each 10-20 stories tall, were built between 1902 and 1912 at the corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue North. These early skyscrapers were known as "The Heaviest Corner on Earth," and they are still standing.


Birmingham has no downtown department stores. The Belk store closed in 2009.


Amtrak's Crescent provides daily service in two directions from Birmingham's small downtown station: northeast to Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York City, and southwest to New Orleans.


The Birmingham Museum of Art and McWane Science Center are located downtown.

Downtown Birmingham


Downtown Birmingham has no first-run movie theaters. The Alabama Theater is a restored 1927 movie palace that has concerts, old movies, and special events.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays at the Alys Stephens Center (1996) on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Broadway in Birmingham presents touring musicals at the Concert Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (1976).


The Birmingham Barons, Double-A Southern League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, play at Regions Field (2013), located downtown.

Map of Downtown Birmingham

Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau

Architecture in Birmingham