Oporto National Guard Armory

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The Oporto National Guard Armory, also called Fort Water Hana, was an Alabama National Guard armory at 5601 Oporto-Madrid Boulevard near Lawson Field in Birmingham's Eastwood neighborhood.

The armory building was constructed in the early 1960s. Until 2009 the armory served as headquarters for the 20th Special Forces Group, one of two Army National Guard Special Forces Groups with battalions from Alabama, Maryland and Florida. Their base was relocated to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

In 1964, WSGN personality and concert promoter Dave Roddy moved his popular "Medallion Mondays" promotion with South Carolina's "Swingin' Medallions" to the Oporto Armory from the Airport Armory, which was about half the size. The venue also hosted "Tams' Tuesday". The armory continued to host concerts and events through the 1970s. The armory was used as a polling place for Birmingham Precinct 58, Area 7.

On May 29, 2018 the City of Birmingham purchased the 4.9-acre property and its three buildings, totaling 44,000 square feet, from the Armory Commission of Alabama for $10,000 in order to promote its redevelopment.

On March 3, 2022 the Birmingham City Council agreed to sell the former armory to contractor Vance Ballard for $10,000 as part of an agreement to secure the property and redevelop it as offices for his B&B Construction firm and for a construction services business incubator. He has also had discussions with Fort Lauderdale, Florida developer Doug McGraw about bringing a version of his "FATVillage" mixed-use development to the area.


  • Roddy, Dave (2007) "Rockin' with Dave Roddy." Birmingham Rewound - accessed May 5, 2007
  • Chambers, Jesse (June 25, 2018) "City purchases old Oporto National Guard Armory." Iron City Ink
  • Dionne, Brittany (March 3, 2022) "A first look inside old Oporto Armory and plans for redevelopment." WBRC.com
  • Parker, Illyshia (January 30, 2024) "Developer talks progress, potential of Oporto National Guard Armory redevelopment." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Parker, Illyshia (February 5, 2024) "How a key redevelopment could serve as a catalyst for South Eastlake." Birmingham Business Journal