The Cultural District (sometimes Culture District) is an area of Birmingham's City Center marked by the presence of numerous cultural institutions, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Boutwell Auditorium, the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the Municipal Complex surrounding Linn Park, including the Linn-Henley Research Library and Birmingham Central Library.
The idea of recognizing and marking the district came about in the 1980s under the leadership of Planning Director Mike Dobbins. Once the area was designated as a Commercial Revitalization District, the city contributed funding for graphics and public landscaping to enhance the area and market the concept. Dobbins re-imagined downtown I-59/20 exits as "entrances" to the city and worked with landscape architect Charles Grenier and designer Bob Moody to create landscape features, colorful signage "towers" visible from the interstate, and pedestrian scale map kiosks.
The district has since been extended with a Cultural District West which includes the Civil Rights District.