The Blach's building (originally the Hood Building, now known as Blach's Lofts) is a four-story commercial building on the northwest corner of 3rd Avenue North and 20th Street. It was built in 1888 and featured a deeply-profiled cornice and window trim, fancy brickwork and arched windows.
In 1910 it was converted into the 100-room Bencor Hotel. Hardin's Coneys operated a crowded, sawdust-strewn hot dog stand on the corner. Ben Fell operated a newsstand on ground level and resided upstairs.
In 1935 the building was completely remodeled in a modernist style by Warren Knight and Davis for Blach's department store. The arched windows were squared off, the cornice and window trim were stripped away and the brickwork was stuccoed over and painted off-white. The store moved into its new location in 1936 and remained until the mid-1980s.
In 2007 a $5 million renovation of the Blach's building was completed by the Carroll & Green Group on behalf of architects and owners Kenneth Owens and Franklin Woods of the Owens and Woods Partnership. 5,000 square feet of ground floor office space was leased by MBA Structural Engineers. 18 one- and two-bedroom residential lofts on the upper floors were also included in the renovation. That number was increased to 24 units by 2013.
In July 2007 Birmingham mayoral candidate Larry Langford signed a month-to-month lease for an apartment at the Blach's lofts in order to establish residency in the city. After the election, opponent Patrick Cooper filed a lawsuit claiming that Langford did not meet the requirement and his claimed use of the apartment was "a sham."
In February 2009 Regions Bank foreclosed on the building and sold it for $2 million. They have sued the Owens and Woods Partnership for non-payment on a $700,000 loan. In September 2013 the LIV Development group sold the building to an undisclosed buyer for $3.2 million.
- 300: A. Schulte cigar store (1926-1931)
- 300A : Ben Fell News Stand (1926-1931)
- 302: White Palace Hat Shop (1926)
- 302A : Lollar's camera shop (1926)
- 304: Noble Cleaners & Dyers (1926)
- 304A: Birmingham Sandwich Shop (1926)
- 306: Hotel Bencor (1926)
- 212: J. D. Head, real estate (1909)
- 216: Davidson & McCarty, stenographers (1909)
- 221: F. Cuff, Perfection Mill Goods (1909)
- 324: Ralph Pearson, manufacturer's agent (1909)
- 332: D. F. Allen real estate loans (1909)
- 336: W. H. Bowen Co. school supplies (1909)
- 444: C. M. Yeilding (1909)
- 450: Labor Advocate (1909)
- 452: John Denegre, Royal Life & Accident Co. (1909)
- 455: Richard McNally, attorney (1909)
- "W.K.T.B." (1888) in North Alabama (Illustrated) Birmingham: Southern Commercial Publishing Co., p. 92
- White, Marjorie Longenecker (1977) Downtown Birmingham: Architectural and Historical Walking Tour Guide. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society.
- Kent, Dawn (September 22, 2007) "Renovated Blach's site set for new lease on life." The Birmingham News
- DeButts, Jimmy (October 17, 2007) "Cooper files lawsuit claiming Langford not Birmingham resident." Birmingham Business Journal
- Hubbard, Russell (September 24, 2009) "Regions sues Owens and Woods." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (February 13, 2011) "Downtown dreams: Renovation slow for prominent buildings." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (September 6, 2013) "Downtown Birmingham's Blach's Lofts sold for $3.2 million." The Birmingham News