Birmingham Athletic Club (1999)

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This article refers to the club opened in 1999 in the John A. Hand Building, for the more information on clubs with similar names, see Birmingham Athletic Club (disambiguation).

The Birmingham Athletic Club (sometimes called the Downtown Athletic Club) is an exclusive men's club founded in 1999 by The Bank owner Jimmy Taylor. It is located on the 20th and 21st floors of the John A. Hand Building at 17 20th Street North, which Taylor renovated to house his bank and luxury condominiums. Tom Jernigan, Jr is the current president.

The club room was finished with marble floors and mahogany paneling accented with rich fabrics. Furnishings included several antiques, leather seating, wine cabinets, cigar humidors and game tables. The exercise area was fully equipped and the staff included a butler and masseuse. Decorations included busts of Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan, mounted hunting trophies, a Steinway piano and numerous artworks.

When it first opened, Taylor invited 150 men to join with an initial membership fee of $20,000. Charter members included HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy, NBA star Charles Barkley, and former mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. Later the club reduced its membership fees to attract younger applicants and allowed women to join. In March 2001 the Birmingham Athletic Club took out a $250,000 loan from Nexity Bank which was renewed more than once before it fell into default in June 2009.


  • Wilkinson, Kaija (March 11, 2005) "Hand Building nearly restored." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Tomberlin, Michael (November 18, 2009) "High-end club ordered to pay bank." Birmingham News

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