One of the most historic buildings in Birmingham is The Pizitz – a well-known department store that used to be a shopping destination for a lot of people around Birmingham. Through the years, this building located at the corner of 19th Street and Second Avenue has undergone major changes and is now the talk of the town.
What did The Pizitz look like in the past?
In the mid-1960s, especially during Christmas time, nothing is more exciting and fun than a trip downtown with friends or relatives through the enchanted forest at Pizitz Department Store. A narrow tunnel is created by snow punctuated with glistening lights and reindeers. Kids back then sure had fun watching little elves preparing goodies in their candy kitchen and stitching and sewing too! What made the trip even more amazing is that at the end of the forest, you will find Santa sitting upon his velvet throne.
The Pizitz had everything from furniture to cute furry slippers, which made it the usual go-to of moms and dads alike for their shopping spree. You would also find a winding hardwood staircase near the 19th street that led to the Mezzanine Restaurant, another favorite go-to place of people with hungry tummies after hours of strolling and shopping inside the department store.
1988 – The Pizitz was closed.
Despite being a well-known landmark in the area, The Pizitz was closed in 1988. Not a lot of people knew exactly why, but like any other businesses, it came to its end. But still, a lot of people hoped for the best – to have The Pizitz brought back to life.
There had always been plans to revive the historic building but those plans always fell through. People had been skeptical over the place’s rebirth, so there were not enough investors for a while.
After several years of trying and failing to restore Pizitz, fortunately, something good happened just recently. Developers received significant tax credits to make the project much more affordable. On top of it, they came up with an idea that would fit the city’s growth.
The Pizitz now is a dining hall with retail on the lower floors and residences above. The place had been finally revived and it’s better than ever. It has more energy than ever before.
People visit Pizitz to dine, to chat, to chill out, and to make memories.
If you’re around Birmingham, be sure to pay this amazing and historic building a visit. You wouldn’t regret it. See you around!