The Thomas Jefferson Tower, completed in 1929, was intended to be the premier hotel in the South.
First the Thomas Jefferson Hotel and later the Cabana Hotel and Leer Tower, this 20-story building, formerly a 350-room hotel, was designed by architect David O. Whilldin, as one of Birmingham’s most luxurious hotels. It featured an ornate marble lobby, a large ballroom, and a rooftop mooring mast intended for use by airships. The ground floor incorporated space for six shops and the basement included a billiard room and barber shop. The ballroom and dining rooms on the second floor opened out onto roof terraces from which the main tower rose. A Corinthian colonnade in glazed white terra-cotta set off the base of the tower, with the hotel entrance marked by a metal canopy. The hotel’s luxury status made it a prime spot for celebrities and distinguished guests, including Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, entertainers Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, and sports icons Pete Rose and Coach Bear Bryant.
Abandoned for decades, Reed Realty is bring Thomas Jefferson Tower back to life.
Project plans include the renovation and redevelopment of the 160,000 square-foot Historic Thomas Jefferson Hotel complex and neighboring 40+ space parking garage. The residential component of the building will house over 120 residents in 96 lofts (21 two-bedroom units and 75 one-bedroom units). Seventeen of the one-bedroom units will be leased at rates inline with HUD maximum rents for Jefferson County as inclusionary housing for low-income individuals. The building will have 25,000 square feet of commercial space available including a 14,000 square-foot event space with a restored ballroom, dining rooms, and private terrace. Approximately 5,000 square feet has been leased to a restaurant.