Welcome to Vestavia Hills – Alabama’s premier place to live, shop, work and play. Vestavia Hills is an economically powerful and culturally fascinating community that exemplifies the ideals of fine southern hospitality. A strong sense of community pride, coupled with top-performing schools and a thriving economy, make Vestavia Hills “A Life Above.”
The City of Vestavia Hills has a population nearly 40,000 and is located geographically in Jefferson County, Alabama along U.S. 31, I-65 and U.S. 280. Incorporated in 1950, Vestavia Hills is a Class 7 municipality of Alabama with a Council-Manager form of government with the Mayor presiding over the Council. The Mayor and Council serve as the legislative branch of the City government. The City Manager is the Chief Executive Officer for the municipal corporation, and he is responsible for the day-to-day operations. Vestavia Hills is in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area and is served by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.
Vestavia Hills is a suburban community with its own public school system featuring one high school, one freshman campus, two middle schools and five elementary schools. The municipality is strong financially with consistently favorable Fitch ratings. Median household incomes are high, and residents demonstrate strong financial support of community programs.
But we are more than just a city. We are businesses, neighbors and friends, all connected by a place. A place built high on a crest by adventurers who sought fertile ground and fresh perspectives. A place that inspires us with an elevated view. On life. On home. On Family. and the true meaning of each. We are rooted in the shared pride of our heritage. We are bound by the values we embrace every day. We are fueled by the fires that light tomorrow’s course. This place is part of who we are. This place is part of who our children will become. We are here with awareness, with conviction and with a true passion for this beautiful place we call home. We are a city that celebrates our successes, special occasions and sense of community.
In years past, “Home of the Dogwood Trail” was the City slogan, and the dogwood is still the City flower. In 2014, City leadership espoused the new “A Life Above” motto to describe the quality of life and values of the community. The new official logo includes a flag that bears the inscription “Unity, Prosperity, Family.” Click here to see what “A Life Above” means to us.
Additional information about Vestavia Hills is included in the Economy section of our website and we welcome you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.978.0100.
In the foothills of the Appalachian Chain, the City of Vestavia Hills is situated atop Shades Mountain. From this unique vantage point, Vestavia Hills overlooks Shades Valley to the north and has a breathtaking vista of the remaining Appalachian foothills to the south. This panorama with its verdant, ever-changing foliage and magnificent sunsets is what attracted the eye and interest of George Ward in the 1920’s.
George Ward, mayor of Birmingham in the early 1900s, was an idealist, a sentimentalist, a naturalist, a floriculturalist, and a lover of the classics. He made frequent trips to Italy and Greece and was particularly impressed by the Temple of Vesta in Rome. Mr. Ward, who had purchased 20 acres of wooded property on the summit of Shades Mountain, commissioned an architect to design a home for him that resembled the Temple of Vesta. The Temple, as it was known, was built of dark pink sandstone with 20 massive columns which were frieze carved and painted with garlands of flowers and fruit. Construction of his home was completed in 1925. Mr. Ward called his home “Vestavia” – “Vesta” was the Roman goddess of hearth and “via” means “by the roadway.” The area around his home later developed into a thriving suburban city known today as Vestavia Hills.
Following construction of his home, Mr. Ward had a garden gazebo built that resembled the Temple of Sibyl at Tivoli (near Rome). This gazebo, now known as Sibyl Temple, overlooked the valley below and served as the entrance to his bird sanctuary. George Ward died in 1940 and Vestavia Hills Baptist Church purchased the property in 1958. Mr. Ward’s house was demolished in 1971, but the Temple was spared. In 1976, the Vestavia Hills Garden Club relocated the Temple to its current location near the intersection of U.S. Highway 31 and Shades Crest Road. This iconic landmark continues to serve as the northern gateway to the City and its image appears in the official seal of Vestavia Hills.
In addition to Sibyl Temple, Vestavia Hills has many historic homes. Click HERE for a guidebook of historic homes. For more information, contact the Vestavia Hills Historical Society via email (vhHistoricalSociety@gmail.com) or on Facebook (@VHhistoricalsociety).
Vestavia Hills Becomes a City
In 1946, Charles Byrd planned and initiated the development of Vestavia Hills as a subdivision, originally designed to accommodate approximately 1,000 persons. The City was incorporated on November 8, 1950. By late 1957, the population had grown from just over 600 residents in 1950, to a total of 2,995 residents. The town of Vestavia Hills officially became a city. From 1956 to 1966, commercial development sprang up along the Montgomery Highway corridor and annexations were made to the south of the City’s boundaries. By 1970, the City of Vestavia Hills had reached a total of 8,311 residents.
The opening of the Red Mountain Expressway in 1977 and the creation of Vestavia Hill’s own school system in 1970 spurred continued growth, and the population by 1980 numbered 15,729 residents. The significant annexation of the Rocky Ridge and Altadena areas in the 1980’s, Liberty Park in 1992, and Cahaba Heights in 2002 expanded both the population base, now numbering approximately 35,000 residents, and the commercial base of the City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama.
Vestavia Hills has numerous opportunities to get involved, whatever your passion. We have a well-educated, thriving community of professionals and individuals who are very engaged to make an impact within and beyond our community. Visit https://vhal.org/community/get-involved to explore the many options available for our residents to get involved!
Vestavia Hills City Map
This City Map is periodically published jointly by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce with the City of Vestavia Hills. Hard copies of the most recent map are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Vestavia Hills City Hall. To inquire about areas which may have been annexed to the City since that time, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 205.978.0184.
Vestavia Hills Street Map 2021 (pdf includes both front and back of map)