Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Re-Imaging Rickwood

Rickwood CagesBirmingham, where our company is headquartered, is a city in transition. We are seeing a renaissance in the urban: Warehouse and industrial areas transforming into top entertainment districts. Long empty buildings being filled with bright new talent and young people. Historic spots getting the credence they’ve always deserved.

One locale that’s seen particular change is the area surrounding the new Railroad Park. In addition to the award-winning green space, new multi-family, local breweries, art installments and a downtown baseball stadium have come to life.

Birmingham Southern Railroad Freight Depot in its original location

Until a few weeks ago, the landmark 1928 Birmingham Southern Railroad Freight Depot was empty, until it was repurposed

Turns out, Rickwood Fieldthe country’s oldest baseball park, was in need of batting cages. The shape of freight depot was just right, and the building materials were correct to the time period. We were off to the races.(more from

From the stands, the building looks very much like it did from 14th Street. But inside, there’s a modern batting facility that gets the job done. Construction might have been a bit more challenging than building from scratch, but the end product is better for it. A way to breathe new life into an old building. We were glad to be a part.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.