SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Neighbors: 1906

Neighbors: 1906

1906. "Birmingham, Alabama -- Jefferson County Courthouse and St. Paul's Church." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Standard issue architecture

Except for the campanile, this building could be the half-size brother, if not the twin, of the Orange County Courthouse, which still stands in Santa Ana, California. Beautiful red sandstone lasts pretty well in a mild winter climate, and this style of building has so much more dignity than the glass and steel shoe boxes that so often replaced them mid-century.

St. Paul's, OTOH

The church has not only survived but has weathered the years well, and was promoted to cathedral when the Diocese of Birmingham was formed. It is really fine example of Vicky polychrome, brick and stone on the outside and elaborately patterned plaster on the inside.

The courthouse site's current occupant, unfortunately should have been taken away by the Po-Mo police.

Kitchen Sink

Like so many grand structures of late 19th century America, seemingly built for the ages, this one didn't last very long, razed to the ground before fifty years were out. The clock tower is an interesting and peculiar departure from the otherwise textbook Richardson Romanesque style, with a Baroque cupola, tempiettos, gothic arches, and maybe a little bit of the Giralda thrown in for good measure.


If it's noon then shouldn't the sun be higher in the sky? Or maybe the clocks didn't work, but back then I doubt it.

[It's winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun will always be somewhere to the south. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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