BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Sitting in the shadows of the Magic City’s tallest buildings is the once-bustling Greyhound Bus Station, which has been abandoned since the city’s intermodal facility opened back in 2017.
Now, after two years of renovations, the station is ready for a new tenant.
“I’m sure I was in the Greyhound station as a young person. I can’t say I remember it. It’s just a part of history,” real estate developer Mike Mouron said.
Mouran called the “historic rehab” of the former bus station one of his passion projects. It compliments a portfolio of other developments like The Valley Hotel in Homewood and Birmingham’s City Federal Building. Both are projects Mouron undertook after retiring as the founder of Capstone Real Estate Investments, where he still serves as chairman of the board of directors.
Mouran hopes he preserved the charm of the old bus terminal while updating it to meet the needs of a modern tenant.
“The resulting building is just something that no amount of money or new construction could replicate,” he said.
Construction of the original station began in 1949. It boasts a style known as “French Moderne,” with an Art Deco feel. The Freedom Riders arrived at this station during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s. At the time, the station had segregated bathrooms and waiting areas. The original construction plans, found inside, aided in the renovation.
“It was hard to envision what it was going to look like because it was in such poor condition,” said Russell Boylan, who headed the construction. “That’s the beauty of working with Mike. Mike loves the details.”
The classic “Greyhound” sign on the building’s front is original. They found it hidden behind another sign which covered up the original, likely part of a previous renovation effort. Above the front door, a greyhound dog hangs on display. It was created by a company that does merry-go-round animals. They wanted to preserve or recreate every detail possible.
“It’s a fun way to bring history back to life. And this building has a lot of history. That’s important,” Boylan added.
In the heart of Birmingham’s downtown, what’s old is new again. Mouran hopes to find a new tenant to occupy the space soon.