Public Health Building

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Postcard view of the Jefferson County Public Health Building
Cornerstone of the Jefferson County Public Health Building

The Public Health Building, also called the Health-Welfare Building or Jefferson County Department of Public Health Building was a government office building constructed in 19471948 for the Jefferson County Department of Health and Birmingham Department of Public Welfare. It also housed branch offices for three agencies of the Alabama Department of Health, which contributed $225,000 toward the project.

The health department had previously occupied offices at Jefferson-Hillman Hospital. The new building was located a block away on land donated by the University of Alabama on the south half of Block 234. The building was addressed as 1912 faced 8th Avenue South, near the corner of 20th Street South.

George Turner designed the 7-story art-deco style building with input from a committee made up of Roy Kracke, Frances Gassman, K. W. Grimley, George Denison and B. F. Austin. The $500,000 contract for construction was awarded to the Daniel Construction Company. It was expected that western half of the site would be used to construct new facility for the Jefferson Tuberculosis Sanatorium, but advances in treatment with antibiotics made that project unnecessary.

Though it was originally hoped that construction could begin in Spring 1946, the formal groundbreaking was delayed to March 12, 1947. It was the first public health facility built with funds from the Hill-Burton Act.

The department moved to the new Guy M. Tate Building at 1400 6th Avenue South in 1979 and the structure was demolished within the next year. The site is currently occupied by UAB's McCallum Basic Health Sciences Building.


  • "County And City Accept Site For Health-Welfare Building" (December 14, 1945) The Birmingham News, p. 16

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