Thoughts from an Armchair Landlord

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Historic Terrace Court Apartments

 
Terrace Court is a landmark apartment building at the corner of Highland Avenue and 20th Street South near Five Points South. The six-story was developed by Richard Massey for $180,000 and billed as the first high-class apartment building south of Washington D. C. The original configuration included 24 apartments arranged in an H-shape around deep light-filled courts. The ground floor and first floor provided leasable spaces for retailers and office tenants.

 
The building was designed by William Weston and represented a rare early use of reinforced concrete. The exterior was clad in gold-toned pressed brick with dark-brown terra cotta trim. Wrought-iron balconies served each apartment. A grand stair of white marble led to the porticoed entrance on the main courtyard. The design incorporated several innovative amenities for tenants. Sand was packed into the voids in the wall tiles and floor arches to help sound-proof the building.

 
Terrace Court was constructed during turbulent economic times, and Massey employed non-union labor. According to Massey's daughter, workmen from a builder's union, then striking, raided the site, murdering a night watchman and sabotaging the plumbing system. Nevertheless, the landmark project was completed in 1907. It was "christened" by Miss Lucille Gaston at an invitation-only event on the evening of Friday, November 6. Governor William Jelks remarked: "There may be other Terrace Courts in the future, but those who erect them will be copyists."
Notable early tenants included J. F. Leary, T. Ashby Weller, and Robert McLester, all on the fourth floor. Others included physician I. J. Sellers, Edward Cullom, and George Crawford. Mrs Helen Gewert operated a public restaurant in the building in 1910.
In January 1934, Massey told Hill Ferguson in a letter that his return on the Terrace Court investment had been very small, and would have run into debt had he borrowed to finance construction.





 
In 2006, Boothby Realty and its investment partners announced a $5 million plan to redevelop Terrace Court as the Terrace on Highland Condominiums. Plans called for 26 condominiums, ranging from 875 to 1,928 square feet, designed by Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds architects. The units were to be priced at $298,000 to $695,000. The courtyard and lobby areas would be restored closer to their original appearance, including a pre-Nazi party swastika design in the lobby tile. A fitness center and concierge were planned amenities for residents. Completion of the renovations was scheduled for 2007. Only the spot occupied by Dave's Pub would remain as commercial space. That plan did not proceed, and the property was foreclosed on by Regions Bank.
The pre-Nazi swastika was, of course, not meant to be an homage to Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party, even though the party popularly known as the Nazis had been founded in Germany in 1920.  Hitler wasn’t appointed chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg until 1933. He quickly consolidated power into a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.  So why is there a swastika in the lobby of the Terrace Apartments and in other places around Birmingham?  It so happens that swastikas are an ancient symbol found in many cultures and the Nazis only appropriated it for their own malevolent ends.
 
Swastikas pop up in Native American culture.  Apparently, there was a small tribe in what is now known as Jones Valley in Jefferson County that used the symbol, and it was incorporated as a tribute to the original residents of the Birmingham area.  When Nazi Germany made a reversed version of it part of its national flag, it forever turned the pattern into a symbol of hate.
Not only is this building filled with charm, character, and history but the views from this property are pretty amazing.


 
In 2009, The Red Mountain Development Group purchased the Terrace Court Apartments for $3.8 million and undertook the complete renovation. Terrace Court now features 40 modern, loft style apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space. The property has been a catalyst for the revival of the historic 5 Points neighborhood.
 
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Tags: Historic real estate

STAGING/DECORATING ON THE CHEAP

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Books, Books and More Books!

 
Ever browse the thrift stores and see all of those hardback books on sale for $.50 a piece and wish you had a use for them?  I do.  I love hardback books and own approximately 200 of them.  For book lovers the natural thing to decorate with?  Books!

Let's look at a few ideas that you can incorporate into your home with books.

Need a "safe" to keep your valuables, keys, change, jewelry or even old love letters?  Using an Exacto knife, hollow out a book, glue some pretty fabric to cover the raw edges left from cutting the hole, and add a clasp or a chain that can be bought at any crafts store and you have a book safe!



What about an IPad cover, a picture frame, a desk organizer or even a book purse?  





What about a book lamp?  I love this idea!  Stack your books to suit your vision, drill a hole all the way through them so you can fish the cord in there, glue the books together so they are stable and add the light kit.  So easy and so dramatic!



Book tables and book desks are another way to utilize old books.  Follow the same basics as the book lamps and you have a conversation piece that is truly one of a kind.  You can get as fancy and complicated as you wish on this one, or you can keep it simple.  Whatever your heart desires.  Tip:  The taller the project the more important it is to run a strong dowel through the books in addition to gluing them in order to keep them from toppling over.






How about a "book" shelf?  

Step by step instructions:













 
 
Lastly, what about a book planter?  Be sure to line the inside with heavy plastic to keep the water from soaking through the book.
 
 
That about wraps up this edition of decorating with books!  Now head to the thrift store or garage sales and grab some books!
 
Schedule Consultation 
 
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Red Mountain Suburbs

Posted by Admin on Sunday, December 10, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017



Anyone who has ever visited Birmingham, Alabama is familiar with the Vulcan statue and museum that sits atop Red Mountain.  What they might not be familiar with is the gorgeous neighborhood that shares the top of Red Mountain with him.  This neighborhood is called the Red Mountain Suburbs.  It was built between 1911-1935 and is the state's second oldest fully-realized, garden-landscaped residential area. It is situated on the slopes and crest of Red Mountain which provides spectacular views of the city below. 

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Anyone for Dessert?

Posted by Admin on Sunday, December 10, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas is right around the corner!  As such, I thought I'd dedicate this month's blog to desserts fit for a Christmas dinner but super quick and easy.

If you're pressed for time, try making a Trifle.  Easy, fast and oh so delicious.  Trifle in English cuisine is a dessert made with fruit, a thin layer of sponge fingers soaked in sherry or another fortified wine, and custard. It can be topped with whipped cream

The beauty of this dessert is the fact that you can customize it to suit the taste of you and your family.  Love strawberries, banana's - use those!  Want a more wintery dessert?  Then try a cookie trifle using gingerbread and pumpkin pudding.  The variations are endless.

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Thoughts from an armchair investor and landlord

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Trussville Alabama

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DIY Projects that don't cost a lot but have a lot of charm!

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's getting close to the Holidays.  That means company coming...and staying for awhile.  It means dragging out the big roasters and dusting off the Holiday decorations.

I've included a few links to this post that will give you step by step instructions on how to add storage to your home, how to liven it up for the Holidays and overall, how to make your Holidays a little bit more organized and less stressful. 

Enjoy!

This link will show you how to build your own inexpensive....but high end looking....pot rack.  You can also widen it a bit and build multiple racks to put in your bathroom, bedroom, office, living room or even your dining room to hold towels, toiletries, books, knick-knacks or even Holiday dishes.  The uses are pretty endless.



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It's Property Tax Time!

Posted by Admin on Friday, October 27, 2017

It is property tax time again. October 1, 2017 tax bills for Jefferson County will be mailed out to property owners. Property taxes are due at that time and delinquent after December 31, 2017.

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Tags: Taxes

The Norwood Neighborhood in Birmingham, AL

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Norwood is a historic neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama. It is located in the northeast corner of the "North Highlands" area.

The neighborhood borders follow an irregular path of creek, roads, and railroad tracks. Village Creek forms the northern border for 1.24 miles. To the east, the border comes down along the Louisville & Nashville Railroad's track to Interstate 20/59, then follows the interstate west to Vanderbilt Road; it then follows that road down to Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard and back to the east to the railroad and then down to the southern border. The southern border follows 9th Avenue North southwest to 31st Street North, then turns due west until meeting Arrington Boulevard; it follows Arrington briefly before turning due west again across the interstate to meet Carraway Boulevard. Carraway is the western border up to 19th Avenue North. The northwestern border follows 19th Avenue east to the Southern Railroad track, then follows the track NNW back to Village Creek.

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Ballplay Alabama and Burnt Corn Alabama

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer is the month for traveling.  It's the time of year when folks like to get into their cars and see what lies beyond their home city.  Here are two small communities that are more than worth a tank of gas to visit.

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Ensley, Alabama

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ensley, Alabama

Ensley, Alabama

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