4th Avenue North

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Fourth Avenue North is an east-west street running through downtown Birmingham. It runs from Center Street in the west to 24th Street North in the east. From 9th to 24th Streets, the three- to four-lane street is one way westbound.

The road appears again as a two-lane residential street between Interstate 59 and Wahouma Park, west of 72nd Street. It is interrupted by the interstate between 75th and 77th Streets, but then continues from 77th to 88th Place, running between Lynn Park and East Lake Park.

Fourth Avenue runs through a few historic districts, including its own 4th Avenue Historic District (from 16th to 19th Street), the Civil Rights District, and the Loft District. In addition, the buildings at 1914, 1917, 1919, and 1930 are part of the Downtown Birmingham Retail and Theatre Historic District.


The stretch of 4th Avenue between 15th and 19th Streets long served as the city's busiest Black business and entertainment district during decades of enforced racial segregation. It has since been recognized as the "4th Avenue Historic District" in the National Register of Historic Places and as a crucial part of the city's Civil Rights District. The nonprofit Urban Impact has coordinated revitalization efforts and special events in the district. In 2017 President Barack Obama created the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

In the late 1960s two blocks of 4th Avenue at the eastern end of the city center were abandoned to prepare a site for the new Birmingham Post Office. In 1973 4th Avenue North was converted from two-way to one-way (westbound) traffic from the Post Office on 24th Street North to [9th Street North]], just west of I-65 in Smithfield. The work was done as part of the Alabama Department of Transportation's TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) program.

In 2003 the 2004 City Center Master Plan, drafted by Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recommended returning one-way downtown streets to two-way traffic. In July 2008 the city approved matching funds to commission Gonzalez-Strength & Associates to conduct a traffic study of the proposal. In August 2023 the city applied for a "Reconnecting Communities" grant from U.S. Department of Transportation's "Neighborhood Access and Equity" program to support conversion of 4th Avenue North to two-way traffic between 9th and 24th Streets. The $14,556,040 grant was awarded in March 2024. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited Birmingham on April 3 to make the formal announcement.

Notable locations

For an alphabetical list of locations, see the 4th Avenue North category.

Smithfield neighborhood

Fountain Heights

12th Street North intersects

13th Street North intersects

14th Street North intersects

15th Street North intersects

16th Street North intersects

The New Deal Barber Shop at 1701 4th Avenue North
View of the 1700 block of 4th Avenue North in 1977

17th Street North intersects

Mewbourne & Spain at 1809 4th Avenue North
The Fox Building at 1824-30 4th Avenue North

18th Street North intersects

Central City

Birmingham City Hall in 1927
1900 block of 4th Avenue North
Southern Hotel at 4th & 20th

19th Street North intersects

BPA Deck 3 addition (2009)

20th Street North intersects

21st Street North intersects

22nd Street North intersects

23rd Street North intersects

24th Street North intersects



  • Bryant, Joseph D. (August 21, 2007) "Study looks at rerouting 7 one-way streets." The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (March 11, 2024) "Birmingham gets $14.5 million federal grant to turn 4th Ave. North into two-way street." AL.com
  • Koplowitz, Howard (April 2, 2024) "Pete Buttigieg coming to Birmingham on Wednesday to celebrate $14.5 million grant for 4th Avenue." AL.com