Red Cross Building

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This article is about the downtown building. For the current Red Cross headquarters, see Ridge Park.

The Red Cross Building (formerly the Social Security Building) is a vacant five-story, 125,000 square-foot building office building at 2225 3rd Avenue North in downtown Birmingham.

In the mid-1940s the city sought to present the vacant Municipal Market as a possible location for a Social Security Administration office. Architects and engineers worked out a plan to add a second story and reclad the exterior with clean, modern limestone panels. Ultimately, the building's size was increased to five floors. It was used as the Birmingham office of the U. S. Social Security Administration from 1946 until the Social Security Administration Southeast Program Service Center near the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center was completed in 1974.

The building was then renovated and expanded again in 1975 for the American Red Cross, the building's only tenant since that time. In 1998 the Red Cross moved to the renovated Rust Building at Ridge Park on Red Mountain.

In 2004 Operation New Birmingham put the vacant building on their 12 Most Wanted list of downtown buildings in need of renovation. Attorney Eric Guster purchased the building in 2015 for redevelopment. Guster announced that after renovations, it would house his Guster Law Firm, as well as other tenants. In 2019 Guster put the building back up for sale, saying he was refocusing his redevelopment efforts in the eastern and western sections of the city.

References

  • "List of buildings recently designed by Long & Gatling, Architects" typescript (June 14, 1950), in "Architects & Architecture", Vol. 2 of material compiled by Hill Ferguson for the cornerstone vault in Birmingham City Hall
  • Tomberlin, Michael (February 13, 2011) "Downtown dreams: Renovation slow for prominent buildings." The Birmingham News
  • Diel, Stan (February 24, 2011) "Sign of times past uncovered downtown." The Birmingham News
  • Godwin, Brent (October 13, 2015) "Lawyer plans massive mixed-use project on Third Avenue North." Birmingham Business Journal
  • "Prominent downtown building back on the market." (September 26, 2019) Birmingham Business Journal