• Menu
  • Menu
Finley Roundhouse | Photo © 2020 Bullet, www.abandonedalabama.com

Finley Roundhouse

Location Class:
Built: 1915 | Abandoned: 2006
Status: AbandonedEndangered
Photojournalist: David Bulit
screenshot 2020 07 08 the rail
Interior of the roundhouse at Finley Yard, c. 1915. The Railway and Engineering Review

The Finley Roundhouse was built in 1915 by the Southern Railway Company at its Finley Memorial Yard located in northwest Birmingham. The roundhouse was constructed of reinforced concrete with a tar and gravel roof a shop floor made up of creosoted wood blocks over a 5″ thick concrete slab. It featured 25 engine berths arrayed around an open-air turntable and an elevated central section that included a double band of clerestory windows to illuminate the work area with natural lighting.

As time went on, steam locomotives were replaced by diesel and railroads were losing business to the ever-growing popularity of semi-trucks. Finley yard was dismantled in 1952 as Southern Railway moved its operations to the Norris Yard in Irondale, selling the property and roundhouse to the American Cast Iron Pipe Company and the Alabama Farmers Market. In the mid-1950s, the roundhouse was then sold to the Shaw Warehouse Company to be converted into a cold storage warehouse and a rectangular warehouse was built adjacent to it. The interior floor was raised with the addition of a new concrete slab, converting the locomotive bay entrances into truck docks, and a spur track was constructed for refrigerator trucks to be unloaded at the rear of the building.

The warehouse closed in 2003 and was left abandoned three years later. A decade later, a tornado damaged the adjacent 1950s warehouse, but the reinforced concrete roundhouse remained unscathed. In 2017 the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation and the Alabama Historical Commission added the roundhouse to their annual list of “Places in Peril”. The roundhouse remains one of two surviving roundhouses in Birmingham and the largest structure of its type in Alabama.

David Bulit

My name's David Bulit and I'm a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. I've published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. My work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of my work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

View Locations

Copyright © 2009- - Abandoned Atlas Foundation - board@AbandonedAtlas.com | Designed By Prairie Nation Creative, LLC - Disclaimer