W. S. Brown Mercantile Building
The W. S. Brown Mercantile Building is a three-story, 30,000 square foot commercial building at 2223-2225 2nd Avenue North. It was constructed for William Brown's W. S. Brown Mercantile Company in 1905. The building is designed in a Beaux-Arts influenced commercial-style. It is constructed of brick with stone lintels and sills tying together the wide double-hung windows. The intermediate cornice and roof cornice, along with their supporting brackets and Roman vents, are of cast iron.
By 1929 the 50-foot building was divided in half, with the Lowry Furniture Company at 2223 and the N. W. Smith Furniture Company at 2225. The Shannon Cycle Company occupied the western half in 1941, followed by the Dixie Cycle & Toy Co. from 1953 to 1976. The east side served as a warehouse for the Zac Smith Stationery Company in 1941, the Appliance Exchange in the 1960s, and the Birmingham Gas Appliance Co. in 1971.
Later both halves were recombined, along with another building at 2227 2nd Avenue North, by Harold's Furniture, which had been incorporated in 1969 by Harold Lischkoff. The building is a contributing structure to the Downtown Birmingham Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Architect Louis Nequette purchased the building from Lischkoff in 2016 for $945,000 and subsequently announced plans to convert the ground floor into two leasable retail spaces, and divide the upper two floors into twelve loft residences. He also added a fourth floor with a terrace setback to house the offices of his Nequette Architecture & Design. When the building reopened in 2017 it was renamed "The Thomas" in honor of Nequette's father.
- Godwin, Brent (August 22, 2016) "Big plans in store for a Second Avenue North building." Birmingham Business Journal