Crestwood Shopping Center
The Crestwood Shopping Center is a neighborhood shopping center located on a 3-acres site on the northwest corner of the intersection between Crestwood Boulevard and 56th Street South in Crestwood. It was developed by Ervin Jackson's Jackson Securities and Investment Company as part of their 200-acre post-war Crestwood residential community.
Though Jackson had marked the site as "Reserved for Crestwood Business Section" on his original subdivision map, he did not apply for a commercial re-zoning until 1946. With no specific plans ready to go, he allowed the matter to lose momentum at City Hall, finally getting the zoning officially changed in September 1950. In January 1953 Jackson and partner Newman Waters announced plans for a modern shopping center, including a Shell gasoline station at the corner. This prospect engendered fierce opposition from many Crestwood residents, who formed a committee to oppose Jackson and Water's plans. After their requests to reverse the rezoning or construct a park in place of the shopping center failed, they went to court. A state circuit court decided that the gas station could be considered a public nuisance and should be moved away from the corner. That decision was overturned in June 1955 after a cross-appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. As he had promised, committee leader and attorney William Soroka appealed the matter to the United States Supreme Court, but they declined to review the decision. Construction of the Shell station proceeded, and it opened in 1956.
The shopping center itself opened on June 27, 1957 with a 10,000 square foot Western Supermarket, Utopia Custom Cleaners and Elliott Drugs as the first tenants. An 11-store expansion was begun just a few months later, in March 1958, bringing the center to 36,000 square feet, doubling parking capacity to 144 spaces, and adding a continuous canopy over the shop entrances. F. H. Hoar and Sons was the contractor.
Other original tenants included a service station, hardware store, bakery, and shoe repair shop.
- 5514: Western Supermarket (R. R. Glasscock, manager)
- Utopia Custom Cleaners (Bertie Liner, manager, Mike Apostalakas, dry-cleaning chief)
- Elliott Drugs (James Elliott, pharmacist and owner)
- Crestwood Chevron
- 5502: Jerome Sims and Don Taylor, State Farm Insurance
- 5504A: 1st Avenue Upholstery
- 5504D: Hi-Tech Hair
- 5506: Subway restaurant
- 5508: Urban Cottage
- 5510: Finishing Touch & Alterations
- 5512: Crestwood Coffee
- 5514: Crestwood Antiques
- 5520: Romeo's Sporting Goods
- 5522: Vineyard Food Market
- "Crestwood 'Fighting Mad' Over Proposed Gas Station" (March 5, 1953) Birmingham Post-Herald via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- "Residents of Crestwood Fight Oil Station Plans" (April 7, 1953) Birmingham Post-Herald via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- "Affter Long Court Fight -- Shopping Center To Be Built At Crestwood" (November 23, 1955) Birmingham Post-Herald via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- "First Three Stores Open Tomorrow In New Crestwood Shopping Center" (June 26, 1957) Birmingham Post-Herald via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- Grant, Don (March 12, 1958) "Crestwood Center To Add 11 Stores" Birmingham Post-Herald via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections