Suburban neighborhoods south of Birmingham
At the turn of the last century, Birmingham residents seeking home ownership and escape from the smoke, congestion, and unhealthy living conditions of an industrial city, began moving south. New streetcar lines encouraged the move "over the mountain." By the 1920s, the rise of the automobile's popularity made possible more distant and exclusive residential communities.
South view from Red Mountain
1. Mountain Brook
Developer Robert Jemison Jr. and landscape architect Warren H. Manning planned Mountain Brook to appear to have grown up naturally over time. Manning's plan called for nature preserves, roads and lots that followed the terrain's contours, sandstone gates and bridges, and a quaint, Tudor-style shopping center, Mountain Brook Village.
In 1924, developer Clyde Nelson and architect George P. Turner created the Hollywood neighborhood, known for its Spanish Colonial Revival and English Tudor homes. Nelson enticed Birmingham residents to move to the neighborhood with the slogan "Out of the smoke zone and into the Ozone." The City of Homewood annexed Hollywood in 1929.
Throughout the 1800s, the area south of Red Mountain that became Homewood was mostly farmland. In the decades after Birmingham's founding, investors transformed the area into the site of several residential suburbs. Three of those -Rosedale, Edgewood, and Grove Park - merged to from the city of Homewood in 1927.
Residents began purchasing small tracts of land in Rosedale, one of the Birmingham area's oldest primarily African American communities, as early as 1889. About a third of early Rosedale residents were laborers while others were among the area's first African American professionals and business owners.
5. Vestavia Hills
in 1924, a former Birmingham mayor George B. Ward built his lavish estate - named Vestavia after the Temple of Vesta in Rome- on the crest of Shade Mountain. After Ward's death, real estate developer Charles Byrd purchased the estate along with surrounding land and named his development Vestavia Hills. Today, the Temple of Sybil, a remnant relocate from Ward's estate, marks the entrance into the Birmingham suburb on U.S. Highway 31.