Some cities were founded along rivers -- Birmingham was founded along a railroad.
The city grew at the junction of two railroads, and the plan for the city called for a Railroad and Mechanical Reservation along the mainline of the railroads, surrounded by a street grid of avenues (west to east) and streets (south to north).
Over the years, the City of Birmingham has developed into "downtown" and "Southside". Downtown is the heart of the central business district, and Southside is the heart of the University District.
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