Tag Archives: Birmingham

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church-Birmingham, Alabama

Originally named the First Colored Baptist Church, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was founded in 1873. The first church building was at the intersection of 12th Street North and 4th Avenue. The congregation moved to its current location in 1880.

This is the second building at this location. The City of Birmingham condemned the first building, so the church leaders turned to Alabama’s only Black architect, Wallace Rayfield, to design the current building. T.C. Windham, a Black contractor from Birmingham, managed the church’s building. The church was completed in 1911 with Romanesque and Byzantine elements.

Based on its location in Birmingham, the church became a centerpiece of the Civil Rights Movement. The church hosted lecturers and became a gathering place for meetings and rallies. Unfortunately, the church became a target of white supremacists on Sunday, September 15, 1963, when a bomb went off at 10:22 AM. The bomb killed 4 girls and injured more than 20 others. Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise McNair lost their lives that day. It took years to bring the perpetrators to justice. Three out of the four were convicted.

Sloss Furnaces-Birmingham, Alabama

Founded in 1881 by Colonel James Withers Sloss, one of the founders of Birmingham, the Sloss Furnaces was Birmingham’s first blast furnace. The first blast was initiated in April 1882. Ownership changed hands several times until the furnaces closed in 1971.

The furnaces were slated for demolition until concerned citizens advocated for it to be saved. In 1981, they were designated as a National Historic Landmark. It reopened in 1983 to the public. Today the site is known for its concerts, annual haunted “house,” and metal arts classes. Visitors can freely tour the site.