Broadway Street

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Broadway Street (labeled on street signs simply as Broadway) is an approximately 1.4-mile residential street in Homewood, connecting the Edgewood Business District on Oxmoor Road with Green Springs Highway. The winding road runs in a predominantly north-south direction. From a few houses north of Morris Boulevard to short of Green Springs, the road parallels Griffin Brook, which runs behind the homes on the east side.

Streetcar tracks near Oxmoor Road intersection

Although a two-lane street, Broadway is wider than most surrounding streets because it was originally part of the Birmingham & Edgewood Electric Railway's streetcar route in the 1910s and 1920s. The streetcar stopped running prior to World War II and during the war a project was begun to salvage the tracks as scrap. Doing so proved financially prohibitive, so the tracks remained and were paved over in 1968 when the road was resurfaced. The tracks were uncovered during maintenance work in April 2018. Most of the road was paved over again, but a small section of the road with the original streetcar tracks was left uncovered for historical purposes.

After Homewood incorporated in 1926, the Homewood City Council passed three improvement ordinances. Improvement Ordinance Number Two specified that a 40-foot roadway be paved with 14-inch curbs along Broadway from Oxmoor Road to what had previously been the Edgewood town limits, south of Forest Drive. In the late 1920s, the street was widened from Carr Avenue to Saulter Road to allow cars to pass safely. Prior to this, only the Edgewood Electric Railway line had extended past Carr. During the Great Depression, federal relief-agency workers cut through 1,100 feet of rock to widen Broadway south of Saulter Road.

The southern end of Broadway, just south of Saulter Road, originally took a sharper turn to a route slightly north of the current route and then curved into Columbiana Road (that section of which later became part of Green Springs Highway). In the 1960s, this section of Broadway was straightened to provide a right-angle intersection with Green Springs, leaving a dead-end fork that provided access to Lakeshore Apartments. This dead-end segment remained until the construction of Broadway Park Condominiums around 2005, when the developer bought the 1.3-acre parcel between the apartments and the current Broadway from the city.

The Markle-Reed Building at the intersection of Oxmoor Road and Broadway
Streetcar tracks

Notable locations

For an alphabetical list of locations, see the Broadway Street category.

References

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  • Summe, Sheryl Spradling. (2001). Homewood: The Life of a City. Homewood, AL: Friends of the Homewood Public Library.
  • Atchison, Ray M. & Doris Teague Atchison (1999) Light in the Valley. Dawson Memorial Baptist Church - accessed April 2, 2010
  • Byington, Pat (July 9, 2018) "History preserved: unearthed 1920s Homewood trolley tracks incorporated in new road paving." Bham Now