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Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens
The Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is the magnificent mansion that rests on six acres of beautiful gardens and landscaping close to downtown Birmingham, Alabama constructed during the mid 1800s by Judge William S. Mudd, one of the ten founders of the city. This two story frame mansion is a Greek revival antebellum structure that is now a decorative arts museum housing a wonderful collection of 19th century furniture, paintings, silver and textiles. The outstanding garden contains a restorated garden room that is currently used for special events, and was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Birmingham was original called Elyton, and was the second seat of Jefferson County, and a city in the making that Mudd helped to establish. This gorgeous house is one of the only surviving buildings from that early period and the city of Birmingham's sole antebellum mansion. During the Civil War it was used by Union soldiers while they planned the destruction of the University of Alabama by fire, and houses the ashes of George G. Siebels, Jr., a former city mayor. Originally, the house was only a modest four room house built by Stephen Hall, an emigrant settler from Georgia, but who lost the house and 16 acres to public auction, which Mudd purchased for $600 in 1842. He transformed the small house into this elegant mansion, naming it the Grove, and with his wife, Florence Earle Mudd, raised their nine children there. General James H. Wilson, the man responsible for making the biggest raid into Alabama during the Civil War, in the spring of 1865, made this estate his headquarters, to plan his destructive raid on Selma, burning the Confederate factories and munitions dumps there. That is the reason the estate survived the war and came out in the awesome state is in today. In 1884, after Mudd had passed on, the estate was purchased by wealthy industrialist Henry F. DeBardeleben, who sold the house to Franklin H. Whitney, a Union cavalryman from Iowa, along with the 33 acres it had grown to. Franklin then renamed the estate Arlington, in honor of the Arlington House in Virginia that had been owned by Robert E. Lee's wife, that sat on a hill overlooking the city of Washington, DC. Robert S. Munger, a rich cotton gin manufacturer, purchased the estate and began a major restoration, installing central heat, electricity and indoor plumbing in 1902. Munger passed on in 1924, and left the estate to his daughter, Ruby and her husband, Alex Montgomery, who arrived to the estate that now had only six acres remaining with it. In March, 1937, the mansion was highlighted in numerous photographs by the Historic American Building Survey, and can be seen today via the Library of Congress web site. During 1953, a number of concerned people in the community, including Hill Ferguson, head of the Jefferson County Historical Association, raised enough money to buy the statuesque mansion and property, with matching money from the city of Birmingham. Their intention was to create a museum that would be available to the community, present and future. It is a stately eight room two story frame house with six outstanding Doric box columns and four center end chimneys. There is a long piazza across the front to protect the center entrance that contains a door that was based on the design created by well known architect, Asher Benjamin, plus paneled entry with sidelights and full entablatures. The interior contains many decorative art works from the 19th century period, with an elaborate pier table in the hallway that was made in New York around 1835. There is also a Sheraton-style settee, American tiger-maple fall front desk that dates back to 1800, and a tall case clock. Inside the Mudd sitting room the is a unique square grand piano that once was the state's Civil War governor, Andrew Barry Moore. Another rare and unique piece is the hand colored portrait of Florence Earle Mudd, believed to be the earliest photograph created in Jefferson County. The resplendant parlor contains a portrait of Munger, and was a larger double parlor divided by folding doors. There is also a four piece parlor set from Belle Mina, the Limestone county home of Thomas Bibb, the second governor of the state. Upstairs there are four bedrooms with fireplace in each one, and the bedroom sitting in the northeast corner of the house has a big mahogany half-tester bed, washstand and bureau that was bought in New Orleans and brought to the city by the Hassinger family during the latter part of the 19th century. The smallish cantilevered front balcony, on the second floor, was remodeled by the Mungers to span the entire length of the mansion. Outside the back, there is a marvelous reproduction kitchen that exhibit a great number of 19th century cooking utensils and close by, off the handsome brick path is a period herb and vegetable garden that was so necessary for families in that time period.
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The Birmingham Zoo was established in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama and is a prominent zoological park sitting on 122 acres housing some 750 animals that represent 250 various species, as well as numerous endangered species that have been brought here from six continents. It is maintained and managed by a nonprofit corporation that is very heavily involved in Species Survival Programs. The zoo is located in Lane Park, along with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, with the park containing 200 acres on the southern slope of Red Mountain, downtown Birmingham. The zoo slowing grew over the decades, until it finally found a place to house it on property located on the southern side of Red Mountain, during the 1940s, and was eventually started on 50 acres and a budget of $250,000, with the bigger parcel being incorporated into Lane Park. That initial funding provided for the construction of six exhibits that contained Monkey Island, a bear moat, seal pool, birdhouse, elephant house and snake pit. It was named the Jimmy Morgan Zoo, opening in 1955. Over the next few decades, the zoo gained prominence and more animals environments and today is one of the most favorite places for the community's families to go to. Today, the exhibits include; waterfowl ponds, Alabama Barn which is a touch type of animal enclosure for the younger children, the Savannah, alligator swamp, reptiles, bird aviary, predators, bison, lori and lorikeet house, butterfly encounter, the Junior League of Birmingham-Hugh Kaul Children's Zoo, camel ride, flamingo lagoon and the elephant house that also contains the rhino and hippo.
Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
Sloss Furnaces is located in Birmingham, Alabama and has become a National Historic Landmark, where once a large pig-iron producing blast furnace was houses during 1882 to 1971. Once it had been closed down, the site would become the first industrial site, and the sole blast furnace in the nation to be preserved for public use, as an interpretive museum of industry and hosts a nationally known metal arts program. It is also used for festivals and concerts with present planning for a $10 million project of accelerated renovation and construction of a large new visitor's center. The site, as well as a wide area of land reserved in the city's original plans for industry and railroads, is part of proposed linear park that runs through the heart of the city. The city hosts an annual Halloween haunted attraction named, "Sloss Fright Furnace", here during the month of October. One of the original founders of the city, Colonel James Withers Sloss, became involved in bringing the railroad to Jones Valley, Alabama and being part of the Pratt Coke and Coal Company, one of the first manufacturers in the newborn city. Sloss established his own company, in 1880, called the Sloss Furnace Company and started building the city's first blast furnace on 50 acres of land donated by the Elyton Land Company for industrial purposes and development. Harry Hargreaves, a former student of English inventor Thomas Whitwell, became the engineer in charge, and two furnaces, of the Whitwell style, and 60 feet high and 18 feet in diameter were constructed. In April, 1882, the first blast was completed producing 24,000 tons of high quality steel during the first year. In Louisville, Kentucky, at the Southern Exposition in 1883, Sloss iron would win a bronze medal, and in 1886, Sloss retired and sold the business to a group of investors that then reorganized it into the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron company in 1899. In 1902, new blowers were put in and in 1906 and 1914, new boilers installed; with the furnaces entirely reconstructed with modern equipment during 1927 and 1931. Because of the improvements and expansions, the Sloss-Sheffield company became the second biggest seller of pig-iron in the region and one of the biggest in the world. While this development was happening, 48 small houses were constructed for the black workers by the downtown furnace, and would become known as the Sloss Quarters, or plainly the quarters. During 1952, the company was purchased by the US Pipe and Foundary Company and by 1969 had been sold to the Jim Walter Corporation. During the 1950s and 1960s, the region had endured heavy air pollution, because of the steel and iron industries located here, and the Federal legislation of the US Clean Air Act caused many closures of antiquated and out-of-date smelting companies. The depletion of iron ore available in the Birmingham region resulted in the purchase of more expensive out-of-state ore and foreign ore as well, to continue feeding the massive blast furnaces. Within two years of his purchase of the company, it closed the doors in 1971 and donated the property to the Alabama State Fair Authority for the possible development of a museum of industry. After much ado about nothing, and trying to demolish the property's structures, the Sloss Furnace Association was formed to save it and today there are metal arts classes held there, as well as BBQ cookoffs, concerts and the Muse of Fire shows. Because rumors began to find their way around the city about the haunting of the mills, it was decided to make it a haunted attraction at Halloween time. Ghost Adventures has been here investigating it, and it has been immortalized by the story written by Alabama folklorist, Kathyrn Tucker Windham.
McWane Science Center
The McWane Science Center is located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and is a nonprofit science museum and research archive that is situated in the historic and renovated Loveman's department store building. This state-of-the-art science center, 280 seat IMAX dome theater and aquarium opened in 1998, with over 9,000 square feet of space housing interactive displays that includes the dynamic Challenger Learning Center of Alabama, that was made in honor and memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger Flight 51-L crew. Another fabulous display is the World of Water display that highlights over 50 species of freshwater aquatic and marine life. The research archive is known as the Alabama Collections Center and houses over half a million artifacts that arrived here from the Red Mountain Museum and contains Native American relics, fossils and minerals. Some of the main displays include the world's fourth biggest collection of mosasaurs, the state fossil of Alabama, the basiosaurus cetoides which is an 80 foot whale fossil, and the appalachiosaurus that is much like the tyrannosaurus. The science cente is named after the McWane family and McWane, Inc. both of them contributing large funds for the center and its creation. The center showcases four floors of interactive displays that celebrate science and wonder, exotic displays of dinosaurs, early childhood playgrounds and the marvelous aquarium.
Highlands Bar and Grill
Appetizers; oysters, chilled green tomato soup with sweet peppers, cucumbers & olive oil; beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan, arugula & horseradish sauce; stone ground baked grits with country ham, mushrooms, fresh thyme & parmesan; friture de la Mer is snapper, gulf shrimp, oysters, peppers & sauce remoulade; grilled figs wrapped in Benton's 22 month ham with walnuts, peaches & lemon-mint cream; pork belly with bourbon with fried green tomato, creamed corn & red pepper jelly; steak tartare with capers, cornichons, grilled sourdough & frisee; local heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella, sungold tomatoes, fresh basil & grenache vinaigrette; watermelon salad with stuffed local peppers with Belle chevre goat cheese, pine nuts & mint. Entrees; hickory grilled pork scaloppine with local squash & zucchini risotto with parmesan & basil; sauteed flounder with succotash, sweet corn, basil & cherry tomatoes; loch duart salmon with Anson Mills farro, local figs, grilled red onion & tarragon; red snapper with low country red rice with local peppers, okra & smoked bacon; Fish selections come simply with grilled herbs, lemon & olive oil; North Carolina guinea hen with braised leg & sous vide breast with zephyr squash & pastis; grilled Colorado lamb chop & leg with zucchini gratin, blistered cherry tomatoes & tapenade; Meyer Ranch flat iron with Alabama Farmer's market ratatouille & salsa verde; Creek Stone Farms beef tenderloin with stuffed local squash, steak fries & Montpelier butter.
Starters; chicken tenders, pork or chicken quesadillas, cheese fries, smoked sausage. Fresh from the Pit served with Sunbeam bread & house sauce, world famous; full slab of ribs, half slab, rib sandwich, half chicken. Sandwiches; the Big Daddy is half pound of pork or chicken sandwich; regular pork or chicken sandwich with one side. Home made sides; baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni & cheese. Brunswick stew by cup or bowl. Banana pudding. Salads served with choice of Dreamland house dressing, ranch, lite ranch, blue cheese, lite Italian or honey mustard; BBQ pork or chicken; half pork & half chicken; house salad.
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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is an interpretive museum and research facility in Birmingham, Alabama that highlights some of the most important moments of struggles that the American Civil Rights Movement endured in the 1950s and 1960s. The facility is situated in the Civil Rights district that also includes the Fourth Avenue Business District, the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame that is housed in the historic Carver Theater and the Kelly Ingram Park. It opened its doors in 1992, and welcomed over 25,000 visitors its first week, and highlights the city's pride in the history and devotion to the progress and unification to the future. The institute involves a walking journey through this "living institution" that exhibits the lessons of the past in a positive motif so that today's generations can chart new directions for the future. Their permanent displays are a self-directed walk through the city's contributions to the Civil Rights movement and human rights struggles, using multi-media displays that showcase the history of the African American life and the continual struggle for civil rights and freedoms. One of the institute's most profound multimedia displays is the Oral History Project that documents the city's role in the Civil Rights movement with the actual voices of the movement's participants. The archives have become a national resource for researchers and educators, with a repository for the preservation and collection of the civil rights documents and relics. This informational system is linked to the public library and is now a vital part of the Archives division. The institute itself is a community resource for workshops, meetings and seminars, with a large community meeting room available to all local organizations. There is a momentous and moving exhibition in the Milestone gallery that depicts the 16th Street Baptist Church before it was bombed in 1963. There are so many stupendous exhibitions housed here, pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement that are often startling and mesmerizing, but always enlightening, unless of course you are an African American and have gone through many of the similiar situations described or showcased here. It is a continuing struggle for the African American people, as well as those that are part African American as can be seen and proven by the feelings, sometimes very visual and violent, but most often hidden, in the United States today. Their struggle will go on until they have really overcome the prejudices and hatred of one race against another, regardless of that person's abilities or specialities. Just imagine, as you travel through the institution, how many Einsteins, Lincolns, and other icons of this country, men and women that could have really contributed to the illuminations of the mind, body and spirit, past, present and future achieved momentous experiences or innovations that could have helped the entire world. How much farther along could we be today in regards to conservation, energy, pollution and other problem areas, if we had only realized that we are all God's creations, and He saw that it was good.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens live on a 67.5 acre retreat inside Lane Park, at the southern slope of Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, and home to over 3000 various types of plants resting in 20 gardens that do include a beautiful Japanese garden. Each year, over 300,000 visitors are welcomed here with exotic and gorgeous plants, free to all who enter, and one of the state's best free attractions. It also contains a garden center complete with a auditorium, Linn-Henley Lecture hall, library, restaurant called the Cafe de France, Blount Education Center, Alabama Cooperative Extension System office, Gerlach Plant Information Center and Arrington's Children Plant Adventure Zone. The list of gardens is prohibitive and quite long, so the best way to enjoy it properly is to go there and visit this magnificent place, spending time to inhale and ingest the aromatic splendor of all that can be seen, felt and smelt. It is genuinely a marvelous botanical garden, perhaps one of the finest in the United States, but that would be up to you to decide when you visit. It is well worth the time to go there and visit it, and since it is free, what have you got to lose, because we all have some time to stop and smell the roses. Which of course can be achieved in the Dunn Formal Rose Garden, among others. Some of the highlights include; the Ireland Old-Fashioned Rose Garden, the Crape Myrtle Garden Conservatory, the Desert house, the Camelia house, the Samford Orchid Display Room, the Bruno Vegetable Garden, the Herb Terrace, the Bog Gardens, the Kaul Wildflower Garden, the Fern glade, the Curry Rhododendron Species Garden, the Ireland Iris Garden, the Southern Living Garden, the Japanese Gardens and the awesome Bonsai House.
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame began in 1978, and the museum opened in 1993, in Birmingham, Alabama with a marvelous mission to foster, encourage, educate and cultivate an appreciation of the medium of jazz music that is indigenous to this country. Found in the city's historic Carver Theater, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights District, it houses over 2200 square feet of displays and outstanding exhibits. It sponsors jazz performances throughout the city, as well as bringing jazz to many of the community's students with visits to the schools by the local musicians. There is also jazz mementos like instruments, quilts, paintings and personal effects, that include such notable artists as W. C. Handy and Ella Fitzgerald; with personal guide, Dr. Frank Adams. Ever since 1999, the hall has offered free jazz classes on Saturday mornings that is open to any resident of the state, and taught by a faculty of professionals, organized by Director of Student Jazz Programs Ray Reach and Director of Education Emeritus Dr. Frank Adams. All together, the teachers of this exciting and mesmerizing institution have formed a performing ensemble that is called the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars (the AJHoF All-Stars). The free classes are provided by grants from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham and other sources in the city and state. The classes teach reading and improvising jazz, and graduates of this Saturday adventure have been receiving scholarships to many prestigious Jazz studies programs, like the ones offered by the New School University in New York City and the University of New Orleans. Another program is the Fun with Jazz Educational Program that began in 2006, and founded by Ray Reach, along with the faculty of jazz professionals, or the AJHoF All-Stars that give free one-hour lessons that introduce jazz via live performance and interactive programs. This program was started under the direction of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Alys Stephens Center and contains four special presentations. Every year, the hall sponsors a Student Jazz Festival, that is open to middle schoolers, high school and college jazz bands, that is non-competitive, with bands being invited to play and be judged by jazz professionals. Awards are given out for numerous categories, and it has be going on since 2004. Every fall, there is a spectacular Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival, and the hall accepts contributions of used but repairable instruments that are donated by jazz enthusiasts. Some of these have been given by famous artists themselves, like Sammy Lowe, Lou Marini, Haywood Henry and Erskine Hawkins. The list of inductees is very long and can be seen when you visit this wonderful center, a place where music lovers of all venues and ages will certainly enjoy.
16th Street Baptist Church
The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is a good sized and predominantly African American Baptist church sitting in Birmingham, Alabama and in September, 1963, two months before the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, it was the object of a racially motivated bombing that murdered four beautiful young girls in the middle of the American Civil Rights Movement. That church is still functioning and has become an important landmark in the Birmingham Civil Rights District, and in 2006, it was made a National Historic Landmark. The unique and special church was organized as the First Colored Baptist Church of Birmingham in 1873, the first black church to be opened in the city and was founded just two years before that. Their first meetings would be hosted in a small building at 12th Street and Fourth Avenue North, although a site was soon acquired on 3rd Avenue North between 19th Street and 20th Street for the dedicated structure. In 1880, the church would sell their property and then build a new church on the site at 16th and 6th Avenue North, its current location. By 1884, the new brick structure was finished, but in 1908, it was condemned by the city and they ordered that it be taken down or demolished. No explanation is given, but the current building was then built in 1911, designed by African American architect, Wallace Rayfield and is a Romanesque and Byzantine style modification. The cost was $26,000 and completed by a local African American contractor named T. C. Windham, and besides the main sanctuary, the is a basement auditorium that is and was used for meetings and lectures, with several auxiliary rooms that would be used for Sunday school and smaller groups. It is one of the main buildings in the African American community and has had many important visitors coming here during its years that include; Paul Robeson, Ralph Bunche, Mary McLeod Bethune and W. E. B. Du Bois; all speaking there in the first decades of the 20th century. The rest is history, being used as an organizational headquarters in the civil rights movements of the 1960s, until Sunday, September 15, 1963, when Bobby Frank Cherry, Robert Edward Chambliss and Thomas Blanton, members of the KKK, planted 19 sticks of dynamite outside the basement, and at 10:22 AM. they exploded into history, murdering four young girls, Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson; as well as injuring 22 other people. These good folks were preparing for the church's Youth Day event, and when the funeral for three of the four was held, over 8000 people attended, both black and white, BUT no city officials came; to their eternal shame. This would be only one of the 45 bombings that would continue for over ten years that would be the outrageous acts of terrorists, and shocked the entire city, country and world; all because of a cowardly outfit that had to hide behind hoods and robes because they knew that they were doing the wrong thing; although the most important witness could still see and know who these frightened child murderers were. Some good did come out of this horrendous act of cowardice, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and then the 1965 Voting Rights act that followed. After the bombing, over $300,000 in unsolicited funds were received by the church to start repairs, and a magnificent stained glass window was donated by the people of Wales, designed by Welsh artist John Petts and is one of the most inspiring and moving works in stained glass that has ever been created, one that should be seen in all its glory at the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight is the aviation museum situated on the property of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama and contains a wonderful and valuable collection of aviation relics that span the 20th century in the various areas of aviation. Looking at more than 8 decades of winged history with both civilian and military aircraft, the relics include the Red Baron, the Flying Tigers and the Tuskegee Airmen with many famous female pilots that include Amelia Earhart and other aviation pioneers. Other outstanding relics include; knee-high aviator's boots from WWI, flying goggles from the earliest days of flying, the trapeze and dental straps used in a local flying circus, a night landing light that had been used by the Wright brothers at their Montgomery flight school and German issue flying gloves from WWI. There are also over 20 aircraft engines. On permanent display are a copy of the Wright Flyer, Aero Commande 680, Glasaire II F-T, Heath Super Parasol 1927, Aeronca Sedan on Floats, Stinson 10A, F-86 Sabre (Navy), 1912 Curtiss Pusher copy, T-6G Texan, Beagle B.206, F4 Phantom jet fighter, Republic Seabee, the first Delta Air Lines airplane, F-14 Tomcat (Navy) and so many it would take another page or two to list. The museum also hosts the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame which honors inductees, and serves as a repository of historical documents that pertain to aviation in the state as well as educational services and more.
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Vulcan Park - Vulcan Statue
The Vulcan statue is the biggest cast iron statue in the entire world, and the symbol of the city of Birmingham, Alabama that was installed and iconized to show its roots in the steel and iron industry beginning in the 19th century. The 56 foot high statue is of the Roman god Vulcan, god of fire and forge, created for the city's entry for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904) in St. Louis, Missouri, and the seventh highest free standing statue in the nation. The large statue was commissioned by the Commercial Club of Birmingham, and designed by Italian born sculptor, Giuseppe Moretti, who would start in 1903, using a 6 foot tall model to study the form. He then sculpted a clay master mold in an unfinished church in Passaic, New Jersey and then divided it into sections to be brought to the Birminghan Steel and Iron Company so that it could prepare casting molds for the iron. The statue contains 29 cast iron parts with connecting flanges that can be bolted together internally, with the head being the heaviest part and weighing 11,000 pounds. At the factory, iron forgemen designed and made the connection details of the monstrous statue that didn't have any internal framework and was self-supporting. The grey iron castings were created in the city from locally produced iron and the finished work weighed 100,000 pounds or 50 tons; without the block, hammer, anvil or spearpoint, which added another 10 tons. It stands on a pedestal so that the overall height is 123 feet high and the chest circumference is 22 feet and 6 inches, with a waist of 18 feet and 3 inches.
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Birmingham Museum of Art sits in the city of Birmingham, Alabama and was started in 1951, and currently houses one of the best collections in the southeastern United States, with over 24,000 drawings, prints, sculptures, paintings and decorative arts that represent a large diversive culture, that includes; Native American, Asian, European, pre-Columbian, African and American. One of their features is the magnificent Asian art collection that is believed to be one of the best and most complete in the southeast, with the Vietnamese ceramics collection considered one of the best in the nation. The museum houses a outstanding collection named the Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque which contains sculptures, paintings and decorative arts that span the 13th century to the mid 18th century and the 18th century European decorative arts collection that contains the best examples of French furniture and English ceramics in the world. The museum is owned and managed by the city, sitting pristinely on 3.9 acres in the heart of the city's cultural district, and was constructed in 1959, with a large renovation completed by Edward Larrabee Barnes of New York in 1993. The large facility contains 180,000 square feet with a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden. Some of the featured pieces in the collections include relics in the African arts collection that date from the 12th century and contain excellent examples of masks, ritual items, textiles, ceramics, metal arts with an Egyptian false door, figure sculptures, furniture, household and utilitarian items, a Benin bronze hip pendant, Yoruba mask and divination portrait of a king from Dahomey. The American collection spans the late 18th century to the mid-20th century and holds works on paper, paintings, sculptures and decorative arts with special objects by Frederic Remington, Georgia O'Keefe, Hiram Powers, Childe Hassam, Tiffany studios and Frank Lloyd Wright; besides one of the three most important landscape paintings in America, by Albert Bierstadt called the Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California from 1865. The Asian collection has over 4000 items, which makes this the most complete collection in the southeast and has works from southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea and India with the best collection of Vietnamese ceramics in the nation and exceptional examples of Buddhist and Hindu art, ceramics, sculpture, paintings, lacquer ware and prints. The other collections include equally beautiful works and all can be seen and enjoyed when visiting the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is situated in Birmingham, Alabama and is dedicated to showcasing the state's athletic history, with more than 5,000 items that pertain to athletes who had been born in the state or gained fame in athletics that reflect on the state positively. It was established by the state legislature in 1967 and currently has more than 200 inductees that include 5 of the top 15 athletes that were chosen by ESPN to be the greatest in the past century. These include; Willie Mays, Paul "Bear" Byrant, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Carl Lewis and Hank Aaron; with the entire listing available on the hall's web site. Every year the center hosts an induction banquet when it inducts between 6 and 8 athletes or other people that have contributed to the athletic arena in some way. Two of these are usually considered to be in the "old-timer" category that covers people before the modern era of sports began. There is also a Distinguished Sportsman inductee each year, that usually is an Alabama sportsperson, but could be a Distinguished American Sportsman, if so voted by the board of directors; like the two well known examples of American sportsman; Bob Hope and President George H. W. Bush. From the class of 2007 came; Jason Sankey, Wilbur Jackson, Gene Washington, Buck Johnson, Sonny Smith, Barry Krauss and David Marsh. Old timers were Al Lary and Jerry Duncan, and Distinguished Alabama Sportsman by split decision were Mal Moore and David Housel. The hall sits in a 33,000 square foot structure in downtown Birmingham, next to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and across from the Southeastern Conference headquarters; with the collection sitting on three floors of the facility. There is the Bryant-Jordan 75 seat theater located within also. More than 5000 items are housed in the museum with Heisman trophies won by Auburn University athletes, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan as well as a hounds tooth hat that was worn by University of Alabama coach Bear Bryant, historic uniforms, life size dioramas and athletic equipment.
December 16, 2014