Landmark Center

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Landmark Center

The Landmark Center was constructed in 1915 as the headquarters for the Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company on the site of an earlier 4-story brick Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Building. The building, built on the northeast corner of 1st Avenue North and 21st Street North in 1902, was destroyed in a 1914 fire.

The original $75,000 contract was for a new four-story fireproof building, but it was soon expanded to seven floors. The Herndon-Mettrick Engineering Company constructed the concrete frame and the Realty Construction Company completed the building's cladding, equipment and finishes.

The new 7-story building was faced on two sides with white-glazed terra cotta tiles. Streamlined piers between the three bays of triple windows rise to stylized capitals below an art-deco frieze. The cornice is topped with projecting palmettes. The mullions and spandrels within the window bays bear ornament in relief, contrasting with the smooth piers.

The building was heavily damaged by a fire in 1926, but was subsequently rebuilt by the reorganized Birmingham Electric Company. A large, circular neon sign on the roof advertised the "light, transit, power" provided by the utility. After the company was absorbed into the Alabama Power Company, divisional offices remained in the building.

In the 1970s it was the headquarters offices of the Collateral Insurance Agency, which re-used the rooftop frame for their own neon sign. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was renovated later as the Landmark Center.

Tenants

Tenants have included the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Jefferson County Historical Commission, and PKA Architects.

References