The Curve in Homewood

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The Curve in Homewood refers to the northeast corner of 18th Street South and 29th Avenue South in Homewood's Central Business District, where the road formerly smoothly curved to allow southbound 18th Street traffic to easily go east on 29th and westbound traffic on 29th to easily go south on 18th. Although the street has been straightened to a standard T-intersection, the buildings still form a curve there.

Originally, the roads that would later be named 18th Street and 29th Avenue were part of Montgomery Highway, the primary route between Birmingham and Montgomery, the state capital, in the first half of the 20th century. At 29th, the north-south highway shifted its route ¼ mile from 18th Street in the west to what is now Independence Drive in the east. Since the highway was the primary route, both ends of this shift were curved for the convenience of the majority of traffic, even though the north-south roads at each end extended past 29th.

As the Central Business District developed along 18th Street, the buildings were constructed to conform to the road's curve. By the late 20th century, businesses on the west end's curve, which was more densely developed, were advertising themselves as "on the curve in Homewood." The highway, by then designated U.S. Highway 31, was officially rerouted off 18th and 29th to the Elton B. Stephens Expressway after it opened in 1970. In the 1990s, the intersection of 18th and 29th was converted to standard right angles to allow westbound traffic on 29th easier access to the businesses on 18th south of 29th. Some businesses still advertise themselves as being on the Curve, however.

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