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Jefferson County


Jefferson County is named for Thomas Jefferson, who was President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Walker County and Blount County

E – Saint Clair County and Shelby County

S – Shelby CountyBibb County and Tuscaloosa County

W – Tuscaloosa County and Walker County


Created:  December 13, 1819                                                    Map of Alabama highlighting Jefferson County

County Seat:

Carrollville ( Powderly )  1819 – 1820

Elyton                             1820 – 1873

Birmingham                    1873 – present


County Courthouse – Birmingham


Location:  716 Richard Arrigton Jr. Avenue / 7th Avenue North

Built:  1929 – 1931

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Holabird and Root of Chicago and Harry Wheelock

Contractor:  Jack B Smith


Description:  The building  faces west and is a nine story cream colored limestone, granite and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Birmingham. The building is “H” shaped and tiered. The east and west entrances have two story projecting sections. The windows are vertical. The roof line is flat. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit and the County District Court and County Probate Court. The north Courthouse Annex section which is eight stories, was constructed in 1963 to 1964. The architect was Charles H McCauley Associates. The building was renovated in 2002. The architect was Giattina Fisher Aycock, Inc.


Note:  Bas-relief sculpture adds subtle and sometimes elegant decorative detailing to the facade. Particularly notable are the series of sculptures by Leo Friedlander symbolizing attributes associated with the seat of justice and cultural and political influences from the county’s past. Over the west entrance the panels depict the Indians, the Spanish, the French, early American settlement, the Confederacy, and the English. Other panels of the building symbolize vigilance, power, justice, and mercy. Columns topped with the American motif of New World corn flank the main entrance. Handsome Art Deco lanterns also mark the entrances.


County Criminal Justice Center – Birmingham



Location:  716 Richard Arrigton Jr. Avenue / 7th Avenue North

Built:  1984 – 1986

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Giattina Fisher Aycock, Inc.

Contractor:  Brice Building Company ( northwest tower )

Brasfield & Gorrie.( southeast tower )


Description:  The building is a complex facing west with a fifteen story tower on the northwest housing the jail and a nine story tower on the southeast housing the courts. The buildings are located in the center of Birmingham to the northeast of the courthouse. The buildings are concrete and glass structures joined by a one story structure on the southeast which has an entrance on the west side. The entrance section has two pillars with recessed glass doorways. The northwest tower was constructed from 1982 to 1984. The southeast tower was constructed from 1984 to 1986. The roof lines are flat. The building is named as the Mel Bailey Criminal Justice Center. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit and the County District Court.


Note: The cost of construction of the northwest tower was $17,000,000. The cost of construction of the southeast tower was $12,000,000.


History:  The county was created in 1819 and Carrollville was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a simple log structure erected in Carrollville in 1819. The county seat was moved to Elyton in 1821 and the second courthouse was erected. The county seat moved to Birmingham in 1873. The third courthouse was a two story brick structure. The fourth courthouse was a three story brick structure designed by Charles Wheelocke & Sons and H Wolters and constructed by Charles Pearce & Company in 1887. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1929 to 1931. The Criminal Justice Center was constructed in 1984 to 1986..


Other Branch Courthouses





County Courthouse – Birmingham























County Courthouse Annex – Birmingham













County Criminal Justice Center – Birmingham







Photos taken 2010