The City of Birmingham along with community and neighborhood leaders will commemorate the five year anniversary of the April 27, 2011 tornado with a series of events. On Tuesday, April 26th at 9:00 a.m. the City will continue with the “super block” concept for the Pratt City Community with the arrival and meeting with designer Tom Leader. Tom Leader will be on site for a three-day planning and design visit.
Tom Leader Studio, the design firm that gave the City Rail Road park, has been engaged to craft and create this iconic space for the existing and new residents of the Pratt Community. The engagement of Tom Leader Studio will allow the City to work with a known, internationally acclaimed team.
The City is implementing the ideas set forth in the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Teams (R/UDAT) that visited the city after the storms and which calls for a community node to be located around the existing Pratt Library. This node will have increased connectivity and residential density to create an identity and sense of place. Paramount to this is the deployment of a world class park and community center to act as a community green or front yard and a civic gathering space and provide the framework for new housing construction in the area.
“Railroad park was the catalyst for the development we now see in that area. We are hopeful that by using the same overall concept and the same team that developed Railroad Park, we will have that same transformative impact in this neighborhood. What the park and community center ultimately become will be based on the needs and desires of the residents and stakeholders of the area,” said Mayor William Bell.
It is anticipated that the park and community center will share the same “super block” as the existing Pratt Library and that integrated housing will be constructed to create a solid fabric to continue to stitch the community back together.
In addition, Pratt City Community leaders will host a Commemorative Celebration to be held on both April 27 and April 30, 2016.
Residents in the Pratt City Community will hold a commemorative worship service on April 27, 2016 at Bethel Baptist Church (1708 Spencer Avenue) at 5:30pm. A Community Commemorative Festival Saturday April 30, 2016 from 11am-4pm at the Howze-Sanford Recreation Center located at 320 Avenue D Pratt City.
“Both events show a true spirit of life and revitalization,” said the Mayor. Over the past 5 years the Pratt City Library has been rebuilt, new housing, a new fire station along with the “superblock” plan for new housing and green space.
“We come together as a community in celebration of life, love and thanking God for enabling us to survive the storm. Although we had one fatality in 2011, we are thankful for being able to look back and see how far we have come since that devastating time. “ Leroy Bandy, Central Pratt Neighborhood President and Vice President of Pratt Community.