Wallace Tumor Institute

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Under renovation in March 2010.

The Lurleen B. Wallace Radiation Therapy and Tumor Institute (commonly the Wallace Tumor Institute or WTI), is 6-story, 154,000 square-foot building housing clinical cancer research for the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. It is located on the corner of 6th Avenue South and 19th Street in the Birmingham Medical District.

Construction of the 38,000 square-foot, $15 million Wallace Tumor Institute was begun under the leadership of founding director John Durant in 1974. It was completed in December 1976. An associated 80-bed inpatient facility, the Lurleen B. Wallace Tower, opened in June 1979.

A capital drive was launched in 1985 to expand the center. In 1991 the center broke ground for a 45,000 square-foot three-story addition.

Plaque describing renovation work.

In 2008 UAB announced a $30 million renovation of the Institute, which had been criticized as "unattractive and inefficient" in internal documents. The project simplified floor plans and added light-filled atrium spaces on the upper three floors and a new lobby on the ground floor. A new exterior facing upgraded the building's appearance on campus. Williams Blackstock Architects of Birmingham collaborated with Payette of Boston, Massachusetts on the redesign.

The work was completed in phases, with the top floors opening in November 2010 and the lobby and administration areas completed by August 2011. The completed project opened in September 2013. The project was recognized with a Merit Award from AIA Birmingham.

During construction the Institute's radiation and oncology programs were moved to the UAB Radiation Oncology Building. Construction funds, which eventually totaled more than $50 million, were raised primarily through state bonds.


  • A Legacy of Love: The Story of the Lurleen B. Wallace Foundation and the Courage Crusade. Birmingham: UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center history
  • Wolfson, Hannah (September 20, 2008) "Wallace Tumor Center $30 million renovation scheduled." The Birmingham News
  • Hansen, Jeff (December 30, 2009) "UAB cancer center building gets revamp." The Birmingham News
  • Oliver, Mike (August 20, 2013) "Sneak peek of $50 million renovation of UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center's hub." The Birmingham News

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