Historic Markers Across Alabama



Ensley, Alabama



Marker ID: ABT 
Location: Ensley, AL
County: Jefferson
Coordinates:   
Waymark: None
 



Text:

Ensley, Alabama

Founded in 1886 by Colonel Enoch Ensley, the industrialized city of Ensley grew rapidly. By 1889, Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company had four blast furnaces in operation at the Ensley location, later owned and operated by U.S. Steel. In 1909, the City of Birmingham annexed Ensley, a culturally rich and diverse city with a thriving commercial district surrounded by large neighborhoods. Downtown Ensley contained banks, theaters, law offices, large department stores, doctors, and other retail establishments. Many Italians and African Americans operated professional and merchant businesses in the area. The railroads served the mill operations while passenger trains and streetcar lines facilitated daily commerce and trade. Ensley is the home of musical legends and spiritual and professional leaders who contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Residents who attended mass meetings at local churches served as foot soldiers in the struggle to overcome racial injustices. Ensley is proud of the contributions the community made to business, industry, reform, education, and the arts.

center>Ensley Commercial District and Ramsay-McCormack Building
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2009
The Ensley historic business district is significant for having over one hundred examples of twentieth century commercial style architecture. Classical columns, Romanesque arched windows, detailed brickwork, and large display and multi-pane steel frame industrial windows characterize the commercial corridors.

The Ramsay-McCormack, the first and only skyscraper building in Ensley, is a community icon, symbolizing Ensley’s great industrial and business growth. Built in 1929, this Art Deco style landmark was designed by Birmingham architect Brooke Browning Burnham and named in honor of the two developers, Erskine Ramsay and George B. McCormack. Ramsay and McCormack reorganized the Ensley Land Company, founded the Bank of Ensley, and became leading real estate developers. A prominent industrial, commercial, and civic leader, Ramsay also served as president of the Birmingham school board for nineteen years. For his many contributions to philanthropic causes and the future welfare of the state, Ramsay was inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in 1998.

Ensley Commercial District and Ramsay-McCormack Building
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2009
The Ensley historic business district is significant for having over one hundred examples of twentieth century commercial style architecture. Classical columns, Romanesque arched windows, detailed brickwork, and large display and multi-pane steel frame industrial windows characterize the commercial corridors.
The Ramsay-McCormack, the first and only skyscraper building in Ensley, is a community icon, symbolizing Ensley’s great industrial and business growth. Built in 1929, this Art Deco style landmark was designed by Birmingham architect Brooke Browning Burnham and named in honor of the two developers, Erskine Ramsay and George B. McCormack. Ramsay and McCormack reorganized the Ensley Land Company, founded the Bank of Ensley, and became leading real estate developers. A prominent industrial, commercial, and civic leader, Ramsay also served as president of the Birmingham school board for nineteen years. For his many contributions to philanthropic causes and the future welfare of the state, Ramsay was inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in 1998.








End of Ensley, Alabama