2229 1st Avenue South

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2229 1st Avenue South, also called the Newspaper Union Building, the Black Diamond Building or the Magic City Casket Building, is a two-story, 10,000 square-foot commercial building on the southwest corner of 1st Avenue South and 23rd Street South, facing the 1st Avenue cut which is now the Rotary Trail. The building, constructed in 1891, is the oldest surviving structure in the Birmingham Historic Automotive District.

The brick building features arched windows on the upper floor and a pressed metal cornice supported on brick corbels. The corner entrance on 23rd Street South is recessed, with the upper floor supported on a single cast-iron column.

The building was originally used as either a boarding house for railroad workers or as a brothel. The American Newspaper Union was located there in from 1898 to 1908, and its presses were used to publish the Birmingham Labor Advocate. In 1904 the Magic City Casket Company also used the building, which later housed the Child Furniture Co., Moore Co. and SoMo Galleries (1989-)

The building was renovated in 2003 by Corporate Realty Development. Giattina Fischer Aycock Architects designed the renovations, which were carried out by Golden Construction. The $1.04 million project, supported by Historic Preservation Tax Credits, linked the building with another historic brick building at 104-110 23rd Street South as a multi-tenant office complex. The project won a "Special Preservation Award" for "enhancing existing character with appropriate improvements," from the Birmingham Historical Society. The complex is managed by Harbert Realty Services.

Tenants

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