The Gaston Motel and Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument
Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument was created by presidential proclamation on January 12, 2017, to honor the nonviolent protestors that fought against discriminatory state and local laws and practices in the 1960s. Encompassing roughly four downtown blocks in Birmingham, Alabama, the national monument interprets the history of places crucial to the struggle for civil rights: the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the 4th Avenue Historic District, and the A.G. Gaston Motel, in addition to other resources. Through a management framework, the Gaston Motel is jointly managed by the City of Birmingham and the National Park Service (NPS).
The Gaston Motel encompasses a 0.88 acre parcel of land at 1510 Fifth Avenue North in Birmingham. The motel was built by prominent African American businessman and entrepreneur Arthur George Gaston in 1954. At a time when the city enforced the segregation of public accommodations including parks, pools, playgrounds, hotels, restaurants, theaters, buses, and elsewhere, the Gaston Motel provided a restaurant and modern accommodations and services to African American travelers.