Block 113C

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Block 113C seen from the Railroad Park in January 2011

Block 113C is a shortened Birmingham city block bordered by 18th and 19th Streets and by 1st Avenue South and Powell Avenue, the planned site of public "urban plaza" fronting their redeveloped Powell Avenue Steam Plant mixed-use project.

The lot dimensions of the block are approximately 400 feet by 182½ feet. It is zoned M-1 "Light Industrial District" and is part of the Midtown Commercial Revitalization District. The block is on the northern edge of the Five Points South neighborhood and the Southside community.

The block, previously owned by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, was sold to the City of Birmingham and used as Birmingham Parking Authority Lot D until 2012. During master planning for the Railroad Park in the early 2000s, it was proposed as the location of a Cultural Furnace, which would complement and extend the open space eastward as a setting for intensive cultural programming, such as contemporary art installations and performances. That suggestion was explored as an architectural design problem by students in Auburn University's Urban Studio.

On January 13, 2011 the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham announced a public competition for "one big idea" for a self-sustaining attraction on the site. In addition to a $50,000 cash prize for the winning idea, the foundation made known its intention to fund implementation.

In late 2012 the City of Birmingham approved the sale of Block 113C to the Alabama Power Company for a then-unspecified redevelopment project. In July 2014 the company's president, Mark Crosswhite, announced that the utility intended to develop a mixed-use cultural and entertainment complex at that location.

In September 2015, the utility won approval from the Birmingham Design Review Committee for its preliminary plans for a public urban plaza on the former parking lot. The plaza design was created by Nelson Byrd Woltz of Charlottesville, Virginia along with associated firms Birchfield, Penuel & Associates, Macknally Land Design and LBYD Engineers


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