Five Points is one of Birmingham's first streetcar suburbs. The area was settled in the 1880's and in the 1887 incorporated as the Town of Highland, a separate community with mayor, council, city hall and jail. In 1893 Highland became part of the City of Birmingham.
About 1885 the Elyton Land Company (the group of developers who founded the City of Birmingham in 1871), established a streetcar line that connected "Highland" with downtown. This company advertised the suburb as cooler, cleaner and healthier site for living than downtown which was lower in elevation and closer to the pig iron furnaces (like Sloss Furnances) and other mills then operating in the valley.
Highland's wooded hillsides attracted many of the city's leading (and also middle class) families who built stately Victorian residences, landmarks churches and later apartments here. Confederate General Edmund Rucker, Birmingham industrialists Erskine Ramsay and William Hassinger and beloved pastor Brother Bryan were among early residents.
At the Five Points South Circle where streetcar lines from downtown intersected those from Highland Avenue and other Southside residential areas, a neighborhood shopping district, with grocery, drug, repair and service shops grew. In the 1920's the Munger family and others built the Spanish and Art Deco style stores in the blocks near the Circle.
Five Points is rich with landmark houses, churches, apartment and commercial buildings, among the city's finest and most distinguished architectural and historical resources. In the 1980's the City of Birmingham repaved, lighted, and landscaped the Circle proper creating an attractive focal point for this early Birmingham suburban neighborhood. Come explore and discover Five Points, past and present.
Today there has been ongoing changes and developments in Five Points and a return to its position as a popular living, shopping and recreational district, particularly influenced by the advent of superb restuarants. It is fortunate have a number of great fine dining establishments like Highlands Bar and Grill, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Bottega and Oceans.
One of the areas most famous resident was Hugh Martin Jr composer of Meet Me in St. Louis and Wish Me A Merry Christmas
Come explore and discover Five Points, past and present.
For a printable self guided walking tour Click Here.
*info from The Journal "A Town Within a City" and Historic Five Points South Walking Tour