Civil Rights National Monument bringing people to Birmingham - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Civil Rights National Monument bringing people to Birmingham

(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)

The new Civil Rights National Monument is already bringing new visitors to Birmingham. We spoke with Mayor William Bell about how the city is ready to take advantage of the historic designation.

Bell says the monument will have a huge impact on the businesses surrounding it and he wants to make sure that they are ready. The city expects the historic area will also bring in new business. They are working on plans to bring tourists in and keep them coming back. "We are anticipating that the number of people coming into the city are going to double to see the civil rights district. That means better opportunity for the businesses to participate economically," Bell explains.

Employees with the National Park Service should be in Birmingham in the next 30 days to start a management plan. "To determine how the facilities will operate and how they will interact together and look at planning," Bell said. They will also discuss who will secure and maintain the area.
The city is restoring the old A.G. Gaston Motel. It will not be a functioning motel again, just a restored piece of history. "And attract people to come down and see where Dr. King stayed and did all of his planning for the civil rights movement here in Birmingham," Mayor Bell explains. That project is expected to take about 16 months. Bell says the city is also making several improvements to the sidewalks, roads, and lighting in that Civil Rights District.

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