Thomas Jefferson Hotel Zeppelin Mast -- Birmingham AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 33° 30.781 W 086° 48.629
16S E 517601 N 3708178
Quick Description: Most folks have no idea that the odd tower on top of the Thomas Jefferson Hotel in downtown Birmingham AL is NOT a relic of some 1920s broadcasting equipment: it's a ZEPPELIN MAST -- or so they would have you believe?
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 3/4/2019 11:48:37 AM
Waymark Code: WM105YN
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Torgut
Views: 5

Long Description:
When the Thomas Jefferson Hotel was being built in the late 1920s, the design included a latticework iron tower that was meant to accommodate airships, then thought of as the future of air travel.

Unfortunately, the onset of the Great Depression caused the builders of the hotel to go bankrupt before the hotel was even finished. Although the hotel was finished and opened, the Depression prevented the hotel from realizing its hoped-for potential.

Then the 1937 Hindenburg disaster put an end to any public appetite for travel by airship forever.

The tower stayed atop the hotel, which muddled along for decades -- even holding a special suite for famed Alabama Coach Bear Bryant for his stays in Birmingham when Alabama played a football game at nearby Region's Field. But decline set in during the 1970s, and the hotel sank into disrepair and decrepitude.

But the true purpose of the mast faded into the history books and Alabama oddities lists as the decades passed.

When Blasterz came to Birmingham in 2019, we thought this was one of the coolest early broadcasting towers we had seen in a while. But as we researched the tower to see if it was early radio or early TV, we discovered from the locals that it was NEITHER -- it's a zeppelin mast! New friends in Birmingham told us that's what it really was . . . OR WAS IT??

Look at the mast and ask yourself -- does that make sense?

In 2019 the Thomas Jefferson Hotel has been rescued from neglect that set in during the 1970s and resulted in the steep decline for this once glittering crown jewel of Birmingham. In 2005 the building was sold to a developer who restored the hotel to its former glory by renovating it into luxury downtown loft apartments.
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Thomas Jefferson Hotel Zeppelin Mast -- Birmingham AL 1/17/2019 Benchmark Blasterz visited it