Building Birmingham: The Sloss Story premieres on Alabama Public Television

When Col. James Withers Sloss helped move the railroad to a fledgling steel town in Alabama in the late 1800s, he put Birmingham on the path to becoming a powerful economic engine for the state. A century and a half later, the Sloss family still has an important influence on the development of the Magic City.

Building Birmingham: The Sloss Story, a new documentary produced by Jacksonville State University’s Longleaf Studios, tells this generational tale. The film premieres Thursday, January 19 at 8 p.m. on Alabama Public Television

Cathy Sloss Jones, President and CEO of Sloss Real Estate, said, “We are honored to have Alabama Public Television and Jacksonville State University tell our story. Our corporate mission is simple and has remained constant: to enhance Birmingham, repurpose its best assets and attract people to the city centre. We firmly believe in the potential of Alabama and are proud to continue the work to connect and strengthen our communities.”

Sloss Real Estate’s ongoing impact and development efforts are focused on connecting neighborhoods along Birmingham’s Central Corridor to draw people downtown. Projects like Sloss Docks, Pepper Place and Lakeview – all areas bordering downtown along the Jones Valley Trail – encourage traffic and pedestrian flow into downtown Birmingham.

“Having known the Sloss sisters and their parents for over 30 years, it was concerning that so many people think of Sloss as a place and not a family,” said Pete Conroy, APT board member. “This documentary makes it clear; It’s both. And, wow, what an influential family it still is.”

Executive Producer Seth Johnson said, “Working on the documentary about the Sloss family was a rewarding experience that allowed us all to gain insight into the significant impact this family has had on Birmingham and the surrounding area.”

Upon public release on January 19, the full documentary will be available at, on, and on the PBS Video App.