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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Heaviest Corner On Earth

 
 
The Heaviest Corner On Earth Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, May 4, 2008
1. The Heaviest Corner On Earth Marker
Inscription. At the turn of the 20th century, Birmingham was a small town of two and three story buildings with a few church steeples punctuating the skyline. During the industrial boom from 1902 to 1912 which made Birmingham the largest city in the state. Four large buildings were constructed at the intersection of the City's main streets. The Woodward building (now National Bank of Commerce), constructed in 1902 on the Southwest corner, was the City's first steel-frame skyscraper. A good example of the Chicago school style of architecture, it brought a dramatic change to the vertical scale of the existing Victorian City. In 1906 the 16-story Brown Marx building rose on the Northeast corner; in 1908 an addition more than doubled its size. Long the South's largest office building, its principal tenant was United States Steel Corporation. The Empire building (1909, Northwest corner) and John A. Hand building (1912, Southeast corner), completed the "Heaviest Corner." Sheathed in marble, limestone, and terra cotta, they exemplify the more ornamental neoclassical style. Along the cornice of the Empire building (now Colonial Bank), "E's" stand for the Empire Improvement Company, which built the tower.
At the time, the height and mass of these buildings was so impressive that the intersection of First Avenue North and 20th Street was proclaimed
The Heaviest Corner On Earth Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
2. The Heaviest Corner On Earth Marker
the heaviest corner on Earth. Today these buildings represent the most significant group of early skyscrapers in the city.
 
Erected 1985 by Birmingham Historical Society / Operation New Birmingham.
 
Location. 33° 30.87′ N, 86° 48.354′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 20th Street North and 1st Avenue North (U.S. 11), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35203, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morris Avenue Historic District / Elyton Land Company (Successor, Birmingham Realty Co.) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Berry Project (about 400 feet away); Dewberry Drugs and Phenix Insurance Company Buildings (about 600 feet away); The Rainbow Viaduct (about 800 feet away); S. H. Kress Five-And-Ten Cent Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Title Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Concord Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jefferson County Courthouse Site (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Birmingham.
 
Also see . . .  The Heaviest Corner on Earth from Bham Wiki. (Submitted on February 14, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
 
Additional keywords.
The Heaviest Corner On Earth 1st Avenue North looking East. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
3. The Heaviest Corner On Earth 1st Avenue North looking East.
"National Register of Historic Places"
 
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsNotable Places
 
The Heaviest Corner On Earth looking south on 20th Street. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, May 4, 2008
4. The Heaviest Corner On Earth looking south on 20th Street.
The 21-story American Trust and Savings Bank building built in 1912 (John A. Hand Building) image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, May 4, 2008
5. The 21-story American Trust and Savings Bank building built in 1912 (John A. Hand Building)
The 10-Story Woodward Building built in 1902. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
6. The 10-Story Woodward Building built in 1902.
The 16-Story Brown Marx Building built in 1906. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
7. The 16-Story Brown Marx Building built in 1906.
The 16-Story Empire Building built in 1909. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
8. The 16-Story Empire Building built in 1909.
The cornice work with the letter "E" along the top of the Empire Building. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 13, 2010
9. The cornice work with the letter "E" along the top of the Empire Building.
The ornamental work on the John A. Hand Building. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, May 4, 2008
10. The ornamental work on the John A. Hand Building.
The Brown Marx, Woodward, Empire, and First National Bank Buildings... image. Click for full size.
circa 1930
11. The Brown Marx, Woodward, Empire, and First National Bank Buildings...
...as seen from the Title Guarantee Building, Birmingham, Alabama
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,636 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.   11. submitted on . • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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