The Webb Building, built in 1871 on the southwest corner of 20th Street and 2nd Avenue North, was one of the first commercial 3-story buildings in Birmingham. It was developed by J. B. Webb of Elyton, who is said to have claimed a $100 prize from the Elyton Land Company for his investment in the new city.
R. H. L. Wharton purchased the "water privilege" for the infant city in 1871 and dug the city's first well in front of the Webb Building. He dug other early wells and charged by the bucket for their use. When the Birmingham Water Works was created in 1872 the Birmingham Board of Aldermen ordered the wells capped.
The building was owned for many years by SouthTrust Bank, which operated a banking branch and office encircling the back of the older structure. It was sold to George Ladd along with the rest of the half-block when the branch was closed.
After the building became vacant, part of the metal cladding above the storefront on the ground floor peeled away, exposing the original brick. In 2010 Ladd hired architect Pete Pritchard to oversee repairs and renovations as part of his efforts to attract a tenant. The work carried out did not match the designs presented to the Birmingham Design Review Committee, leading to some controversy. The board later approved a compromise design prepared by Herrington Architects.
- Dude Saloon (1871-1907)
- Frank P. Walker with Frank McCree & Co. barbers and hairdressers (1880s)
- Pope Jewelers (1970s)
- Yogo's Frosty Frozen Yogurt (1970s)
- Purple Onion (1990s)
- "The First White Family" (April 15, 1886) The Weekly Iron Age - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- White, Marjorie Longenecker (1977) Downtown Birmingham: Architectural and Historical Walking Tour Guide. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society.
- Erdreich, Jeremy (March 10, 2010) "Ask and ye shall receive..." Bhamarchitect's Blog.
- Tomberlin, Michael (March 20, 2010) "Historic Webb Building will get total makeover." Birmingham News
- Diel, Stan (October 14, 2010) "Renovation for downtown Birmingham Webb Building sparks rift." Birmingham News