Introduction to Birmingham, Alabama
Incorporated in 1871, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is home to approximately 240,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including Cullman and Hoover, has a population of about 1.1 million. Birmingham is located in the north central part of the state, 220 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, and 140 miles west of Atlanta, GA.
For Birmingham, geology was destiny. The main raw materials needed to make steel are iron ore, limestone, and coal. Seldom do all three occur close together in large quantities, as they do here. Add the planned intersection of two railroads, and a steel making city was born. Although manufacturing is still a force, the area has since diversified into industries such as finance, health care, and the beginnings of biotech. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the historic "Letter from Birmingham Jail".
In 2004 Birmingham was named one of the Most Livable Mid-Size Cities by Partners for Livable Communities. In 1990 it was one of the Finalist Communities for the "All-America City Award" given by the National Civic League.
Precipitation in Birmingham is about 54 inches per year. Temperatures reach 90 degrees an average of 57 days a year. July average daily high and low temperatures are 90.6 and 69.7 degrees Fahrenheit. January average daily highs and lows are 52.8 and 32.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in Birmingham include:
- Regions Financial
- AmSouth Bancorp
- Vulcan Materials
- Compass Bancshares
- Protective Life
Arts and Leisure
Birmingham cultural, historical, and leisure attractions include:
- The Birmingham Museum of Art
- The Birmingham Summerfest, Inc.
- The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra
- The Magic City Blues Society
- The Alabama Symphony Orchestra
- The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
- The Alabama Ballet
- The Virginia Samford Theatre
- The Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences
- The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- The Oak Mountain State Park
- The Sloss Blast Furnace Site
- The Quinlan Castle
Birmingham sports teams include:
- The Birmingham Barons, a Double-A Southern League baseball club affiliated with the Chicago White Sox
- The Birmingham Magicians of the American Basketball Association
- The Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena Football League