AT&T City Center
AT&T City Center (formerly BellSouth City Center, BellSouth Building and South Central Bell Building) is a 390 foot tall, 30 story, 688,000 square foot office tower and 650-car parking deck located at 600 19th Street North, at the northwest corner of 6th Avenue North. It serves as corporate office space primarily for AT&T South.
Construction of the tower commenced in 1968 and was complete by 1971. It was designed by the New York architectural firm of Kahn & Jacobs with Warren Knight & Davis serving as the local architect of record and Henry C. Beck Company of Atlanta serving as general contractor. Containing 8,350 tons of structural steel as part of is frame, the tower is rotated 45 degrees relative to the street grid in a radical departure of building orientation in downtown Birmingham.
In 1994, an $80 million asbestos cleanup and renovation of the building commenced after BellSouth officials decided to consolidate local operations downtown instead of building new elsewhere. The project was completed with Brasfield & Gorrie serving as general contractor on April 1, 1998. On July 15, 1998, the name of the tower was officially changed from the BellSouth Building to BellSouth City Center to differentiate it from the BellSouth campus at the Colonnade. The renovation was recognized as the first building in the state by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy with its Energy Star Label for Buildings.
The strikingly modern design of the tower features horizontal bands of dark pearl granite and glass contrasting with a pair of horizontal white marble pylons and a two-story white marble top. The interior lobby is noted for a large, metallic mobile designed by Lin Emery of New Orleans and a 70-foot mosaic wall along the corridor between the lobby and adjacent seven-story, 650-car parking deck.
Originally only having the Bell System logo atop the tower, in the 1990s the BellSouth logo was also added. In June 2007, the BellSouth signage was replaced with AT&T ones. Each of the 800-pound striped globes atop the tower measure 16 feet in diameter, and weighs slightly more than a ton.
- White, Marjorie Longenecker, ed. (1980) Downtown Birmingham: Architectural and Historical Walking Tour Guide, second edition. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society.
- Williams, Roy L. (November 4, 1997) "BellSouth renovation, asbestos cleanup work now ahead of schedule." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (July 15, 1998) "Skyline signature building renamed BellSouth City Center." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (August 23, 1999) "BellSouth to receive EPA recognition for energy-saving building." Birmingham News
- McCauley, Charles R. (June 22, 2007) "AT&T logo goes up downtown." Birmingham News