Civil Rights District

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The Civil Rights District is an area of downtown Birmingham bound by 3rd Avenue North to the south and 8th Avenue North to the north with 15th Street North serving as the western and 19th Street North serving as the eastern boundary. The area is recognized as the heart of where the Birmingham civil rights struggle occurred from 1956 through 1963. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in October 2006.

Birmingham's 2004 City Center Master Plan proposed residential/mixed use development in the Civil Rights District north of 4th Avenue. The proposed design placed more intensive office and commercial uses closer to Kelly Ingram Park with medium-density residential development northward. Small neighborhood parks would be created along 8th Avenue North at 13th and 15th Streets, providing links in a proposed "green street", a pedestrian-friendly corridor connecting the new Birmingham Social Security Administration Center to the municipal complex at Linn Park. 6th Avenue North and 14th Street would have a similar treatment, creating walkable connections to the Central Business District and Railroad Park, respectively.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail, unveiled in 2009, provides interpretive markers for many Civil Rights District locations, as well as other sites around the city.

In 2012 Mayor William Bell asked the A. G. Gaston Construction Company to compile a redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the Gaston Motel.

Notable locations within the district


  • Coman, Victoria L. (November 17, 2006) "Civil Rights District on National Register." The Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (May 10, 2012) "Birmingham civil rights district may get makeover." The Birmingham News