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Birmingham in Jones Valley

A city in the US state of Alabama

By Rasma RaistersPublished 9 months ago 4 min read
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Birmingham is a city in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Alabama.

The Birmingham Museum of Art is located in the heart of the city’s cultural district and opened its doors in 1951. Its permanent collection consists of more than 25,000 art objects. Its collection of Asian art is one of the finest in the Southeast and its collection of Vietnamese ceramics is one of the best in the world. Other highlights include a Kress collection of Baroque and Renaissance paintings, decorative arts and sculpture, 18th-century European decorative arts, and the world-renowned collection of Wedgwood china. The museum offers lectures, events, and activities for a variety of audiences including school children.

It has a wonderful sculpture garden, Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden has three uniquely different spaces. The upper plaza with monumental sculptures, the lower gallery for temporary exhibitions, and the Red Mountain Garden Area with a courtyard for the permanent collection.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is an educational and cultural research center. You’ll find archives, galleries, meeting rooms, and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibit will take you on a journey from the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement to contemporary human rights issues. It also hosts many different activities and events and has a range of programs. The tours here are self-guided.

Vulcan Park and Museum just outside of Birmingham on top of Red Mountain you’ll find a 50-ton 56-foot high iron statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. This is the largest cast iron statue in the world and has been watching over the city since the 1930s and has become one of the city’s important symbols. It is surrounded by a lovely and well-maintained park which is a popular place for different events. It is the most popular place for the annual 4th of July fireworks.

Alabama Theater was built by Paramount Studios in 1927 and used as a movie palace for Paramount movies. It was also used for the Mickey Mouse Club and Miss Alabama Pageant until 1987. After that, it became the Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts and today plays host to movies and over 300 events each year. It is home to Alabama’s highly prized Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

The Birmingham Zoo opened in 1955 the beginnings of the zoo were just a few exotic animals in a firehouse. Today you can see some 950 animals representing over 230 species from six continents. Among the animals making their home here are bobcats, elephants, giraffes, orangutans, rhinos, tigers, and zebras. Some of them are exotic and others endangered like the double-wattled cassowary, the Komodo dragon, and the red panda. The zoo makes conservation efforts and has many educational outreach programs.

Kelly Ingram Park is a historic 4-acre park in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. During the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, it was the location for large demonstrations. The park was named after a local fireman, Osmond Kelly Ingram. Here you can see many sculptures and monuments. The park was the scene of protest in May of 1963 where police and firemen used fire hoses and police dogs and it caused such public outcry that it resulted in the end of public segregation and late on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Railroad Park opened in 2010 and got its name because it lies immediately south of two rail lines that pass through downtown Birmingham, This park is known as “Birmingham’s Living Room” and is a popular green space that plays host to concerts, cultural events, family activities, and recreation. The park has more than 600 trees, different kinds of flowers, paths, and water features among them a lake, wetlands, ponds, and streams.

Red Mountain Park lies along Red Mountain Ridge. There are two city overlooks, over 14 miles of trails, three tree houses, historic mines, Kaul Adventure Tower, Red Ore Zip Tour, and Remy’s Dog Park. You can choose to hike or bike. It also offers several educational outreach programs like field trips and summer camps.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is in Irondale, a suburb of Birmingham. It was named after William Henry Ruffner, a geologist from Washington & Lee University. Here you’ll find 12 miles of hiking trails and see wildlife like owls, raptors, snakes, and turtles. The Treetop Visitor’s Center and Education Pavilion was built in 2010.

Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is a historic former plantation and museum surrounded by 6 acres of landscaped gardens. The house was built between 1845 and 1850 in the Greek Revival style. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The home is now a decorative arts museum and has a large collection of 19th-century furniture, paintings, silver, and textiles. The garden room is used for special occasions.

The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in the Birmingham Civil Rights District is dedicated to preserving and presenting jazz music. Founded in 1978 is opened as a museum in 1993. It displays instruments, paintings, quilts, and other jazz-related memorabilia like the personal belongings of jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald. It hosts jazz performances at various venues around the city and introduces jazz music to students at schools through visits by musicians. It sponsors free weekly jazz classes and is home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band.

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About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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