Alabama Moon

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Alabama Moon

"Alabama Moon, for Betty" is an outdoor sculpture located in the plaza outside the Regions-Harbert Plaza at 20th Street and 6th Avenue North. It was jointly commissioned from Wallington, New Jersey-based artist Clyde Lynds by AmSouth Bank and Harbert Realty. The "Betty" in the title was a friend of the artist who lived in Birmingham, but had died a few years earlier. The work was completed in 1989 and dedicated in January 1990.

The 16-foot long by 12-foot-7-inch tall installation takes the form of a triumphal arch, echoing the neo-traditional architectural design of the tower as well as the triple-arched portico of the Cathedral Church of the Advent directly across 20th Street. The concrete arches are clad in stainless steel, topped with a concrete pediment with embedded fiber-optic lighting. Under the central arch is an obelisk with a polished metal sphere balanced at its tip. The color lighting program changes seasonally.

Patterns in the carving and lighting are inspired by Alabama's native American cultures, by the growth of kudzu, and by the pattern of the night sky as it appeared at the project's dedication. The sculpture occupies the center of a brick-paved plinth, raised four steps above the sunken plaza and facing toward 6th Avenue. Two flagpoles, for the U.S. and Alabama flags, are located on the platform in front of the sculpture. The corners of the raised area are marked by smaller metal obelisks.

Birmingham News art critic James Nelson described the piece as "undoubtedly the most ambitious site-oriented public sculpture in Birmingham."


  • Kendall, Mary (October 17, 1989) "Building With Art". Business Alabama
  • Nelson, James R. (January 7, 1990) "Works of Art in Busy Places Add Character, Stir Emotions: 'Alabama Moon' at AmSouth/Harbert is an elegant essay on architectural form." The Birmingham News
  • Wilcox, Elizabeth (July/August 1990) "Clyde Lynds, Alabama Moon, for Betty". Sculpture
  • Malarcher, Patricia (August 12, 1990) "Artist Creates 'Magical Objects' With Fiber Optics" The New York Times

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