Remembering Century Plaza as demolition clears way for new beginning

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:07 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s the end of an era! Demolition began on the old Century Plaza Mall this week and since the first brick fell, many have been sent down memory lane. Tonight, we hear one of those stories and what the future holds for that neighborhood.

“My first job was at KB Toys in the late 90′s,” said Jonathan Smith.

That was one of Birmingham’s most popular malls during that time, Century Plaza. Now, Jonathan Smith works in sales at WBRC.

Seeing the mall demolished brings back memories for Smith… like his first day of work.

“My friend was going down there to heckle me, or see me on my first day and he threw up on the floor. That was my first job, my first duty to clean up his throw up in the aisle,” said Smith.

No one said all of the memories were perfect. But he says from hanging out in the food court to seeing Santa, those were the days.

“I’m sad to see it go, but I’m also excited about what’s the future for that area,” Smith said.

The once-bustling area of Crestwood hasn’t been the same since the mall closed in 2009.

Birmingham Councilman Hunter Williams says he hopes the new Amazon fulfillment center that will replace the mall will be a starting point for growth for all of Birmingham and surrounding areas.

“It’s going to benefit from having a last-mile fulfillment facility in terms of economic development and what we have in terms of our infrastructure,” Williams said.

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