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April 17, 2005

Abandoned Old Line Department Store

Birmingham Alabama 2005

Below are two photos I took of an abandoned old line department store in downtown Birmingham Alabama. Most cities boasted a large local department store in the early 20th century. I'm not sure what store this used to be or what stories are to be told about the site. Anyone with any clues please email me or post in the comments.

April 17, 2005 in Industrial Archaeology and Architecture | Permalink


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i wonder is you have more notices about this cryptic place, it scares me so much

Posted by: cialis online | Oct 4, 2011 12:26:22 PM

They should do it more useful, instead of standing there without any benefits.

Posted by: hollywood bistro | Sep 8, 2011 2:59:40 AM

This is actually the Pizitz department store, once the largest single store in the southeast. It was a mass-market store, known for it's bargain basement. The current building was built around 1914 or so, and was very expensive for its day--the entire exterior is terra-cota tile.

Posted by: lacoste shoes | Aug 20, 2011 3:18:33 AM

These kind of abandoned building usually get assaulted by homeless people, drug addicts and criminals.... I think it's sad to know that we live in a world with different dimension, one for those -us- who have at least something to eat and a blanket to cover our bodies from the cold, and the others... abandoned like the buildings they take as their residence.,

Posted by: generic viagra | Apr 15, 2011 10:21:11 AM

The establishment has made a legacy itself. Proper restoration must be handled well.

Posted by: gloves for work | Mar 29, 2011 11:27:16 PM

Its been 5 years now, I wonder what is the building use for now?.

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Posted by: target stores online | Feb 11, 2010 4:19:55 PM

Formerly Pizitz department store, currently slated for redevelopment as a grocery'office building, see link:


Posted by: Davud | Jan 29, 2010 5:16:46 PM

Relocating to the Birmingham, Alabama area inthe next 3 months and would any and all input from anyone who does or has lived there. Please do not reply if you are not one of these.

Posted by: Tadalafil Online | Nov 25, 2009 8:52:22 AM

Ok! This is the truth: This is the old Pizitz Dept. Store. It used to have a big sign that said "Pizitz Dept. Store", when I went on trips to Bham when I was a kid i went in there once, it was beautiful! It had wood everywhere! And big chandeliers. Lovemans is ACROSS THE STREET, the McWane Center is now inside the building. This Pizitz was closed in 1986 after briefly being McRaes. It has currently been granted a $10 million renovation into retail/offices. Kress and Burger Phillips are ADJACENT TO LOVEMANS/MCWANE CENTER ACROSS THE STREET! I hope this helped! :)


Posted by: Phoenix Beau | Aug 5, 2009 6:55:28 PM

Ok everyone! This is the truth: That is the old Pizitz department store. It used to have a big sign that said "Pizitz Golden Year" it was Pizitz main dept. store anywhere until the 70's. It closed in 1986 after being turned into McRaes. Lovemans(Across the street) is now occupied by the "MCWANE CENTER". Speaking of Kress: The Kress dept. store and Burger Phillips are adjacent to the McWane Center (A.K.A. Lovemans). When I was a kid and went to Bham on trips, I once went there, it was huge on the inside, wood was everywhere, big chandeliers. It is currently vacant, but it was recently granted $10 million for a renovation into retail/offices, it is said to be finished by mid-2010. It's an awesome building and I hope this helped! :)


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Posted by: Crinueignisse | Mar 23, 2009 9:34:55 AM

This is Pizitz Flagship store founded in 1899 and this building completed in 1925. It stands empty since 1988. Rumor has it that it might be renovated to become lofts or office space.
Across the street is now the McWane Science Center which is in part of the old Loveman's Dept. Store

Posted by: VIrginia | Feb 2, 2009 4:35:21 PM

A home at 869 Walnut Street in Gadsden will be on the Christmas Tour of Homes this year. The Brown family owns the home now. It was built somewhere around 1901 and supposedly was designed by the same architect who designed the old Pizitz Store in downtown B'ham. There is another home in Gadsden designed by the same fellow and we are trying to find out where that home is. The Brown place is beautiful with old coffered ceilings in living room and dining room, a butler's room downstairs, and large sleeping porch on second level. The sleeping porch, per local lore, and much of the upstairs was re-arranged to provide housing for soldiers stationed at Camp Sibert during WWII. Does anyone know who this architect may be...any homes in B'ham designed by him, etc? I will be helping give history during the tour and also live in the home at the moment and would love to know all that I can know. Mrs. Brown and myself would love to come to Birmingham and see more works by this fine architect and take pictures of the Pizitz stores, etc., before the tour.Thanks

Posted by: Tamara Kirk | Nov 5, 2008 9:44:55 AM

Nope, It IS the old Pizitz building, not Loveman's. The McWane center now occupies the old Loveman's building accross the street. McRae's bought the location in 1986, but closed shortly after. Nice old building though.

Posted by: Emily Nan | Jul 8, 2008 8:45:50 PM

I really hate to burst any bubbles, but this is actually Loveman's department store.

I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama in 1973 and left, when I joined the US Navy, in 1993. My most fond memory of visits to Loveman's was at Christmas.

On the Saturday before Christmas all children were invited to have breakfast with Santa Clause on the mezzanine level. It was really a exciting event and, at the time, very awe inspiring. Mrs. Clause was there and, of course made breakfast, and the elves were waiters and waitresses.

I really didn't need to go into all of that, but thank you for reminding me of such a fun time in my life.

Please visit http://www.birminghamrewound.com/lovemans.htm for any other information you desire.

Posted by: Kyle A. Drummond | Nov 3, 2007 2:00:50 AM

Just came across this picture while doing some research on my grandfather who used to be in charge of the Repossion Department at Pizitz... Jack B Summers was his name... I am glad to have found this picture of where he spent many years.... Thanks!

Posted by: j rider | May 20, 2006 8:00:34 PM

This is actually the Pizitz department store, once the largest single store in the southeast. It was a mass-market store, known for it's bargain basement. The current building was built around 1914 or so, and was very expensive for its day--the entire exterior is terra-cota tile.

Pizitz expanded to the suburbs after WWII, but the downtown store remained its flagship until it was bought out and became MacRae's, which closed the downtown location around 1992. The building is currently under option for a loft apartment conversion--the neighborhood is being revitalized with loft condos and apartments, as well as renovated office space (including the old Kress building around the corner).

Posted by: J Erdreich | May 3, 2005 6:04:30 PM

This appears to be an old five and dime store, quite possibly a SH Kress & Co. See http://www.kressfoundation.org/kressorg/histg.html. Or a close cousin. It appears to Art Deco. It's probably an early example of a national discount chain store.

These stores were the Wal-Marts of their day, when people flocked to downtowns to shop. Many were built during the Great Depression of the 1930s when labor and materials were cheap. They were considered gifts of architecture to the community. After WWII most of these stores were slowly replaced by newer chains in suburbian shopping malls.

Given the large size and expensive materials used in the construction of this store, Birmingham must have been a relatively important city at the time. Less elaborate stores were constructed with cheaper materials in the smaller cities.

But if I've guessed wrong, somebody from AL please correct me.

Posted by: s.clark | Apr 17, 2005 7:13:01 PM

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