Brother Bryan Park

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Brother Bryan Park
Magnolia Park postcard.jpg
Bham Park and Rec logo.jpg Birmingham City Parks
Years 1880spresent
Location 2100 Magnolia Avenue, (map)
Five Points South
Area 2.2 acres

Brother Bryan Park (formerly Magnolia Park) is a 2.2-acre Birmingham city park located between 21st Street South and 22nd Street South and between Magnolia Avenue and 10th Avenue South in the Five Points South neighborhood.

Around the turn of the 19th century, Magnolia Park hosted a small animal menagerie kept by the firemen working from Birmingham Fire Station No. 3. The collection, considered a predecessor to the Birmingham Zoo, was removed after neighbors complained of the noise and odor.

Workers employed by the Civil Works Administration trimmed trees at Magnolia Park in 1934.

The unremarkable park was beautified in 1971 with the addition of a fenced playground, decorative pools, lighting, and three A-frame, cedar-clad picnic shelters. A tunnel below 21st Street South gave children a safer route to the park from Five Points South. The improvements were designed by Carl Mattil, horticulturist for the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board.

In 1989 the park was renamed in honor of James Bryan, who was well-known for ministering selflessly to the people of Birmingham from 1889 until his death in 1941.

Brother Bryan Park is often used as a rallying point for public demonstrations and events, such as the annual Magic City AIDS Walk and United for Life Rally and March.

The use of the park by people experiencing homelessness has drawn complaints from residents and business owners. Birmingham City Council member Valerie Abbott, who had been sent "explicit video" of people there described the park as, "an embarrassment to the city of Birmingham."