2012 1st Ave N.
Birmingham, Al 35203

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Live in a Landmark: The Thomas Jefferson Tower Renovation

There are lots of reasons to be excited about the Thomas Jefferson Tower renovation, among them the availability of more apartments in the downtown loft district. But now there’s one more: the newly restored zeppelin mooring atop the building.

Both the Birmingham Business Journal and WBRC reported on the reproduction mooring last month not just as an addition to the building but a mark on the city’s “skyline.” WBRC even called the mooring “a return to the city’s iconic skyline,” based on comments by Robbie Cather, a project manager for Stewart Perry Construction.

And it’s clear–both from their own writing on the mooring and from published comments on the project–that its developers see the Thomas Jefferson Tower renovation as a landmark project for the city. Developer Brian Beshara told AL.com that once opened the mixed-use tower would be “a really impactful center of gravity for this area.”

Birmingham already has an edge on the number of downtown residents compared to other US cities, project developer Scott Reed told the site. And he believes that bodes well for the broader outlook.

“Great cities have great downtowns,” he said. “If Birmingham wants to be one of the great American cities, it has the potential to get there.”

We agree with Reed on both counts, and we think the city’s skyline is a critical branding factor. The new mooring will even have customizable LED lighting, according to Stewart Perry’s Planting Acorns blog, to “light it as a modern symbol of our city.” The best part of this particular symbol, though, is the ability to live in it.

Inhabiting the skyline is unique to the downtown living experience. There’s a funny fizzle of excitement that happens when you realize your home is part of the city’s visible landscape. When you can literally tell people they’ll be able to see it as they enter the city, well, that never gets old.

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