Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

4th Avenue District

 
 
4th Avenue District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, March 10, 2008
1. 4th Avenue District Marker
Inscription. The Fourth Avenue "Strip" thrived during a time when downtown privileges for blacks were limited. Although blacks could shop at some white-owned stores, they did not share the same privileges and services as white customers, so they created tailor shops, department stores, cafeterias, billiard parlors, fruit stands, shoe shine shops, laundry service, jewelry and record shops, and taxicab stands. These businesses were distinctively geared toward and managed by blacks. When darkness fell, the Fourth Avenue District gleamed with live entertainment. Where some of the finest entertainment in Birmingham could be found at Bob's Savoy. The Frolic Theatre and Henry Hury had "live" entertainment for the black patrons. Not only did singers and dancers captivate the audiences, but live vaudeville shows came to the area: Bessie Smith, Clara Smith, The Whitman Sisters, Hot Harlem Review and Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havanna Review. The Business men and women of this block did not compete with whites for the business dollars, instead enjoyed the profits of their own labors and their own originality and determination in the selection of location and business ventures.

A partial listing of businesses that was established as early as the 30's through the late 70s include:
1947-1953 Brown Derby Grill Restaurant
1940-1959 Mabry Brothers
Business in the 4th Avenue District image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, March 10, 2008
2. Business in the 4th Avenue District
Men's Clothing Store
1950-1957 Bob's Savoy Cafe Restaurant
1949-1955 Utopia Cleaners
1950-1968 Patton Beauty Shoppe
1937-1967 New Home Hotel
1930-1961 Frolic Theatre / Henry Hury
1947-1958 The Orange Bowl
1937-1964 Quality Department Store
 
Erected 2002 by Urban Impact, supported by funds awarded by the City of Birmingham.
 
Location. 33° 30.924′ N, 86° 48.696′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Avenue North and 17th Street North, on the right when traveling west on 4th Avenue North. Touch for map. Marker is located in a park on the corner of 4th Avenue and 17th Street North. 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. Fourth Avenue Historic District. (here, next to this marker); Green Acres Café (within shouting distance of this marker); Emory Overton Jackson (within shouting distance of this marker); Brock Drugs Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eddie James Kendrick (about 300 feet away); Fraternal Hotel Building
1700 Block of 4th Avenue North of the 4th Avenue District image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, March 10, 2008
3. 1700 Block of 4th Avenue North of the 4th Avenue District
(about 300 feet away); "Peace Be Still" (about 500 feet away); Kneeling Ministers (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAfrican AmericansCivil RightsEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 29, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,615 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 29, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement