Zamora Shrine Center

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Aerial view of the Zamora Shrine Center

The Zamora Shrine Center (originally the Zamora Shrine Temple) is a 57,359 square-foot meeting hall and events center constructed in 1985 for the Zamora Shriners Masonic organization. It is located at 3521 Ratliff Road in Irondale, near the intersection of I-459 at I-20.

The building is notable for its Moorish-influenced and brightly-colored architectural design. The stepped roof rises to a central cupola topped with a gold-colored onion dome above the 2,500-seat arena. The property includes a 500-space parking lot, a barbecue pavilion, and a monumental sculpture, "Editorial Without Words," depicting a Shriner carrying a disabled child in one arm and her crutches in the other. The center was designed by Evan Terry and Associates and constructed by Brice Building Company.

The Zamora Shrine Temple has hosted numerous events, including Birmingham Feline Fanciers cat shows, dances, wrestling bouts, banquets, and car shows. It was the site of several Birmingham Asian Culture and Food Festivals and BirmingHAMfests. It was also used as the home of the Tragic City Rollers.

The building was involved in the failed deal to relocate Trinity Medical Center to Irondale. The building and 105 acres of surrounding property were put on the market with an asking price of $10 million in 2010, then unsuccessfully put up for auction in January 2015. In 2019 the property was listed by Engel Realty for $5 million, despite it being appraised by the Jefferson County Tax Assessor for $12.9 million.

First Carolina Holdings of Greenville, South Carolina purchased the property in October 2020 for $3.5 million. Shortly afterward, a proposal to renovate the building for a Frederick Douglass STEAM Academy was announced. Later the City of Irondale voted to purchase the property for $5 million for redevelopment. The city planned to work with private developers on a master plan consistent with the Blueprint Irondale Comprehensive Plan.

Since acquiring the building, however, Irondale Fire Department chief Brad Doss began requesting to use it for events. As more requests came in, the city decided to use the existing building as the Irondale Civic Center. Williams Blackstock Architects was commissioned to prepare renovation plans which would include removing the rooftop dome and adding recreational amenities to the surrounding site.


  • Gray, Jeremy ( ) "Zamora Shrine Temple sues Daniel Corp. over dead Trinity hospital deal." The Birmingham News
  • Beahm, Anna (June 9, 2019) "Got $5 million? This Birmingham landmark could be yours." The Birmingham News
  • Van der Bijl, Hanno (October 8, 2020) "Zamora Shrine Center sells for $3.5M." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Van der Bijl, Hanno (October 12, 2020) "Details emerge on plans for Zamora Shrine Center after recent sale." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Byington, Pat (June 8, 2022) "Irondale to purchase former Zamora Shrine Center." Bham Now
  • Parker, Illyshia (June 10, 2022) "City of Irondale set to acquire former Zamora Shine Center, 105 acres." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Parker, Illyshia (April 17, 2024) "City of Irondale sets out to create "recreational mecca"." Birmingham Business Journal