Altamont Park

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Gun at Altamont Park, September 1, 2009

Altamont Park is a narrow, steep parcel on the northern slope of Red Mountain on the south side of Altamont Road and above 13th Court South between Redmont Road and Cliff Road.

The property was purchased by the city in 1921 from Jemison & Company for $64,000, with the purpose of preserving the view into Jones Valley. A group of eleven residents and real estate agents petitioned against the sale saying the the price was too dear and the steeply sloping property unsuited for park use.

The concept of preserving views from a "Red Mountain Parkway" by means of dedicated linear parkland was included in the Olmsted Brothers' report published in 1925 as A Park System for Birmingham.

In 1930 four German guns, captured trophies of World War I obtained for Birmingham from the War Department by the American Legion, were relocated to the side of Altamont Road from Woodrow Wilson Park. The city later made plans to remove three of them to Legion Field. A sandstone overlook was constructed for the remaining gun. The paved area connects to a set of stairs, perhaps one of the stairways built in the 1910s to connect Mountain Terrace to Altamont Road, which extends downward from the park to Overlook Alley.

Long a light gray in color, the gun was surreptitiously decorated with pink spray paint in 2009. City workers re-painted it in an olive drab color soon later.

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