Historic Markers Across Alabama

Dewberry Drugs and Phenix Insurance Company Buildings

Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North and 2nd Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 30.949    W 086° 48.295
  33.51581666    -86.80491666
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


The two commercial buildings on this corner lot are some of the earliest surviving business houses in Birmingham. The Dewberry building appeared on the corner about 1881, and it housed the first and longest surviving drug store in the city, starting as Godden & Lide, and becoming Dewberry around 1900. After Dewberry left the building in about 1995, it remained vacant until its rehabilitation as a law office in 2003.

The Phenix Insurance Company building was built somewhat later, about 1884, and was originally the insurance offices of Wilson & Ingram, an antecedent of the W. B. Leedy real estate and insurance business. In the 1890s the building was occupied by the Phenix Insurance Company, which remodeled the façade to the appearance it has maintained to the present time, with its bas relief insignia in the upper face. From 1946 until about 2001, the building was the home of Rex Shoe Repair.

Vacant and deteriorating for some years, these buildings were acquired in 2002 by John Lauriello and Julie Gieger of Southpace Properties, Inc., a company which has been instrumental in the continuing revitalization of downtown Birmingham. They were involved in the early development of the property until the purchase by law partners Jason A. Stuckey and Ike Gulas who paying careful attention to historical detail, redeveloped the properties to house their law firm. The architectural firm for the project was Cohen & Company and the contractor was the Bradford Building Company. The buildings are contributing properties in the Downtown Birmingham Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in February, 1982. The new owners confirm a commitment to downtown Birmingham by their rehabilitation of these historic structures, and they invite the regard and pleasure of the public passing by.

End of Dewberry Drugs and Phenix Insurance Company Buildings