June 9, 2020 — Isaac Smith, the owner of Oak Mountain Glass, a residential and commercial glass repair company in Birmingham, has volunteered to replace the glass at the Historic Alabama Theater and the Lyric Theater, following the recent destruction caused by rioters in downtown Birmingham.
In the aftermath of the riots, the immediate priority is to clean up with wreckage and help downtown businesses to protect their storefronts by boarding them up. Businesses like the Wheelhouse Salon, a modern hair salon that sits positioned across the street from the Alabama Theater, were left ravaged from the riots.
Johnny Grimes, the owner of the Wheelhouse Salon, sat outside his business all night, watching as the chaos unfolded. “It’s frustrating but I can sympathize with what the African-American community is going through,” said Grimes “I just hope something positive comes out of it. I hope it sparks a national conversation.”
It was Gusty Gulas of the Gusty Gulas Group at EXP Realty that quickly sprang to action following the destruction. He began reaching out for help from other business owners to clean up and restore the city following the riots. All it took was a quick post on social media by Gulas and the support started pouring in. Smith and the team at Oak Mountain Glass were quick to join in the effort.
Gulas, Smith, and others have decided to join forces to be part of the cleanup of their city. The people of Birmingham are ready to rebuild their city and generate some positivity during an intense and uncertain time.
With immediate responses from businesses like Oak Mountain Glass and many others, Gulas and the team were able to quickly gather donations of plywood, nails, and other materials. This allowed them to get right to work boarding up damaged businesses.
In an interview on ABC 33/40, Oak Mountain Glass’s office manager, Barkley Byrd stated, “We really just wanted to be able to someway help our community,”
The historic Alabama Theatre, a downtown mainstay since 1927, suffered damage to 13 windows and doors during the riots. And the Lyric Theatre, a piece of Birmingham history since 1914, suffered damage to one window.
Oak Mountain Glass has agreed to sell the glass needed to repair Birmingham’s historic buildings at-cost out of inventory from their Pelham location, and will provide the labor for the replacement of the glass on all windows and doors free of charge.
Smith stated, “I’ve always been a fan of those theaters and I saw they were already hit hard by the coronavirus, so, we wanted to give back to the community a little bit and help them out.”
This initiative has been dubbed the “Bham cleanup” and those who are on board are committed to continuing to help the community for as long as there is a need. There’s still plenty of work to be done to restore historic downtown Birmingham back to its glory, but with the help and generosity of businesses like Oak Mountain Glass, the city is already on its way to recovery.
You can help Oak Mountain Glass and the rest of the Bham cleanup team by donating to the effort. You can give on Venmo @Bhamcleanup or on PayPal at [email protected].
Oak Mountain Glass Company
1005 Yeager Pkwy
Pelham, AL 35124