Construction Begins on the Iconic Florentine Building

The long neglected Florentine building is on the way to having a new life. The one of downtown Birmingham's most beautiful and historic buildings. Now, owners Ken Effinger and Rebecca Corretti have begun the $2.5 million renovation. The iconic landmark will be home to a restaurant, event space and full catering operations center for the owners' business -- Corretti Catering. Demolition is underway and scheduled to finish in late summer/ early fall 2014.

The two-story Florentine or Sims Building is located on the southeast corner of 2nd Avenue North and 21st Street. It's the former site of the Jefferson County Bank. It was built between 1925 and 1927 for the Club Florentine by Henry Upson Sims.The foundation was designed to support a 10-story building, but only the lower two floors were ever completed.

A public-private partnership between the City, REV Birmingham and the owners was critical in getting the project off the ground.