Welcome to the Woodrow Hall Blog

In this inaugural blog I would like to go over a bit of history to place Woodrow Hall into a larger perspective of the restoration of Birmingham!

In 1914, in Europe the beginning of WWI was starting, Ford Motor Company started its Model T assembly line and paid workers $5.00 for a 8 hr work day.

Birmingham was a bustling city with the Lyric Theater becoming a major vaudeville venue.  The Birmingham Tutwiler Hotel opened to become one of the most prestigious hotels in the southeastern US and helped develop Birmingham as a “convention city”.

And the Birmingham suburbs were just being developed with the building of the largest building in the NE corner of Birmingham at 5500 1st Avenue North.  This building housed a pharmacy and other businesses on the first floor, numerous physician offices on the second floor and an elegant banquet hall on the third floor that became the home to the Woodlawn Fraternal Lodge No. 525, otherwise known as the Masons.

The freemasons were an organization that started in Europe.  The earliest records date back to the 1300’s.  They practiced philanthropy.  Many of our founding fathers were Masons including numerous presidents.

This lodge remained in existence for much of the 20th century, but like much of Birmingham started to deteriorate over several decades.  The remarkable century old banquet hall had fallen into disrepair and the grand ballroom, that once hosted meetings, banquets, celebrations and parties, was left with a rather in tastefully done 1960’s remodeling that included now worn out shag carpeting, dingy suspended ceiling, fake wood paneling along with a leaking roof, broken windows and general decay.

The restoration of the grand banquet hall as well as the rest of this remarkable piece of Birmingham’s history became the vision of Andrew Morrow and his brother-in-law, Jamie Cawood. Both of these remarkable guys have had a passion for restoring old buildings and had developed the necessary skills both academically and on the job.  This is third historic building that Andrew and Jamie have renovated and together they have earned an award from the city for their efforts to bring life to previously forgotten structures.

The restoration took upwards of 20 man years and now this vintage ballroom and inviting foyer are again greeting brides and grooms and others for night of fun and merriment.

The renovation allowed for the installation of a new sound system, LCD projector, plasma TV, modern kitchen and trendy dance lights. The rich patina remains but now the uplights add drama, the floors shine, the food is tasty and the music is vibrant and the dance floor is inviting!

Woodrow Hall would like to invite all those searching for an ideal wedding venue or banquet hall to visit our new facility.  You will be impressed.  But more important you will enjoy working with our staff;  in particular Tazmine, the Director of Operations (who incidentally held her own wedding reception at Woodrow Hall earlier this year!).

Our goal is to exceed your expectations and provide you with an experience that you will talk about for years to come!

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