University Place Apartments
The dramatically modern structure was constructed in 1960 as the 121-room Guest House Motor Inn, part of the "Master Host Inns" chain, which advertised air conditioning, direct-dial telephones, tv, radio and background music in every room and suite as well as a "large and unusually-beautiful" tiled swimming pool, a restaurant with French and American cuisine, convention facilities, free parking, baby sitting service and dancing nightly.
Decorated in a coral and blue color scheme and landscaped by Thomas M. Brooks in a "Deep South-Florida" manner, the hotel combined the services of a luxury hotel and the convenience of a motel. Holley Midgley was general manager and Emil Sevin, formerly of the Mountain Brook Country Club, was head chef and catering manager.
In early 1963 a six-story addition costing $400,000 added 50 rooms. The motel was later rebranded as a Ramada Inn. In the 1960s and 1970s the rooftop nightclub was called the Playroom Lounge.
After its closure, it took nearly three years for its redevelopment. In 1998, Engel Realty Company began its $3.3 million transformation from a hotel into 139 apartment units. Its renovation was complete by late 1999 with the first tenants moving in by that April.
- Granger, Charlie (September 1960) "Modern Guest House proud of twin services" Birmingham News - via Birmingham Rewound
- Sanborn Map, Birmingham 1969, Volume 2, Sheet 198
- Business Briefs (March 29, 1995) "UAB to close University Inn". Birmingham News.
- Tomberlin, Michael. (April 8, 1999) "Engel creates unusual mix at former hotel". Birmingham News.
- University Place Apartments on Emporis.com