Fair Park East

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sign for Fair Park East

Fair Park East was a 1969 proposal to build a new amusement and recreation park on a steep 630-acre parcel owned by the Birmingham Water Works where Five Mile Creek is joined by the Tarrant Spring Branch near Jefferson State Community College in eastern Jefferson County. The proposal was made at the urging of Pinson Valley real estate developer H. Y. Carson, a member of the Water Works Board who oversaw the lease of the land to the Alabama State Fair Authority. The proposal had the support of Birmingham Mayor George Seibels.

Plans, drawn up by architect Bob Moody of Charles McCauley & Associates, called for a 16-acre lake on Five Mile Creek with miniature boats, amusement park rides, tennis and badminton courts, a softball field and a gymnasium. Other planned enhancements included an archery range, a stable, show ring and bridle trails for horsemanship, and nature walks. Parking areas and overnight campground sites would have been strategically located at several access points.

Some preparatory work was done to clear overgrowth and grade roadbeds. Seibels traveled to Washington D. C. to pitch the idea of having a federal youth employment project involved in preparing the site. The Federal Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, however, never awarded a hoped-for $228,000 grant to help finance development. Additional grants were also applied for help in completing paving and lighting at the site.

The recreation plan never came to fruition, and the property remains undeveloped except for a short-lived picnic area on the western portion near the intersection of Pinson Valley Parkway and Lawson Road.

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