5th Avenue North
5th Avenue North is an east-west downtown street in Birmingham's northside. It ends at a drainage headwall for Valley Creek at 7th Street North to the west and becomes Messer Airport Highway to the east as it crosses below the Elton B. Stephens Expressway and the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
The eastern end of 5th Avenue North downtown was once the principal entranceway into Birmingham by rail, as it was the site of the Birmingham Terminal Station. Many of Birmingham's early hotels were constructed along 5th Avenue heading west toward 20th street from the station.
There is a short, block-long strip of 5th Avenue North adjacent to Forest Hill Cemetery in Woodlawn and another dead-end section between Trotwood Park and I-59. A longer section of 5th Avenue North is located in East Lake between 73rd and 90th Streets. An unconnected short dead-end section can also be accessed by 91st Street North near Zion Memorial Gardens.
In October 1958 5th Avenue North was converted into a four-lane thoroughfare by eliminating on-street parking from Bush Boulevard in the west to 41st Street in Avondale. The move was expected to increase the street's traffic-carrying capacity by 30 percent and was part of a traffic plan by which 1st and 5th Avenues would serve as cross-town thoroughfares while 2nd, 3rd and 4th would serve for bus traffic and as connectors to the downtown business district. The installation of new coordinated traffic signals and the removal of obsolete streetcar wires was part of the conversion.
5th Avenue North was converted from two-way to one-way (eastbound) traffic was from 9th Street North to Red Mountain Expressway in 1973 by the Alabama Department of Transportation's TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) program.
- Intersection with 16th Street North
- Intersection with 17th Street North
- Intersection with 18th Street North
- Intersection with 19th Street North
- former site of Pollock-Stephens Institute and Southern Safe & Fence Company
- 1907: former location of Jane Speed's Book Store
- 1909: Subway Restaurant (former location of Fifth Avenue Coffee House)
- 1913: Chick Fil-A
- 1915: former location of DeMoes' Lunch Counter, the Alhambra Restaurant, and the Gold Torch restaurant and lounge
- 1919: former location of Ben Chapman's Bowling Lanes and Lo-Mac Bowl (opened 1950)
- 1961: Wells Fargo Tower
- 1960: Regions Center
- Intersection with 20th Street North
- Greg's Hot Dogs
- 2000: Financial Center, Winged Victory statue
- 2001: former site of Tutwiler Hotel (1914), Regions Plaza
- 2008: former location of Cliff's 1-Hour Valet formal wear and cleaners
- 2012: Birmingham Parking Authority Deck 5
- 2019: former location of the Domestic Electric Company
- 2029: former location of Christian Science Reading Room
- Intersection with 21st Street North
- North side
- 2106-8: former location of E. T. Shaw & Son undertakers and embalmers (1909-)
- 2108: former location of the Try-Me Bottling Company and Mehr's Music Store & Novelty Shop
- 21xx: former site of Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1
- 2130: former location of Studebaker Birmingham and Superior Engraving Company
- South side
- North side
- Intersection with 22nd Street North
- Intersection with 23rd Street North
- Intersection with 24th Street North
- Intersection with 25th Street North
- Intersection with 26th Street North
- "Fun facts, historical tidbits and tips to find your way around Birmingham from traffic engineer John Garrett." (January 2, 2007) Birmingham News
- "Fifth Avenue Becomes Through-Street" (October __, 1958) Birmingham News