Adams and Reese Partner Giles Perkins was recognized Nov. 23 for his work and service with the Railroad Park Foundation and his contribution to the creation of Railroad Park – an award-winning park that many consider to be the catalyst for Birmingham’s renaissance. Perkins served as the president of the Foundation during Railroad Park’s construction and now serves as President Emeritus. He was honored by city officials, Foundation leaders, and members of the community Nov. 23.
When Perkins first visited the weedy, overgrown and abandoned lot in Birmingham’s city center, he knew that reconstructing it into a place that everyone in Birmingham could enjoy and be proud of would be challenging.
Ceremony speaker, Birmingham Mayor William Bell noted that Birmingham’s different communities – the politicians, the suburbanites, and the people who live downtown – are often distrustful of each other. Before Perkins became involved with the project, there was little hope of bridging the gap. Perkins had both the ability and the patience to build a partnership spanning the entire community, all with a common goal.
Chris Giattina, a friend of Perkins, quipped that Perkins is “deceptively capable” and was able to take the unrealized potential of Railroad Park and mold it into something transcendent.
Now, six years after Railroad Park opened to the public, it stands as a symbol, reminding the people of Birmingham to live up to the potential of their hometown.
At the end of the ceremony, Foundation officials unveiled a permanent installation honoring Perkins for his service to the citizens of Birmingham. Created by local sculptor Brad Morton and located on a bridge overlooking the park, a new handrail features a raised poem penned in bronze. The poem reads:
This park stitched Birmingham's fragments into a city ready for tomorrow. It exists because Giles Perkins, a Texas son, wanted his adopted city better for everyone. His gifted insights and drive to improve our lot, wrought order from chaos and changed Birmingham's course.
Perkins is a fourth-generation lawyer living in Birmingham and has practiced law since 1992. A partner in the Adams and Reese Birmingham office, he focuses his practice on government relations, public finance and development, corporate law and complex litigation. Along with previously serving as president of Railroad Park Foundation and now as President Emeritus, Perkins is a founding member of the Birmingham Zoo, Inc., where he was instrumental in making it the number one tourist attraction in Alabama.
Perkins is also active with the Rotary Club of Birmingham and the UAB Athletics Fundraising Campaign. He is an AV Peer Review Rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and was honored as a “Star of the Bar” in B-Metro Magazine’s 2015 “Top Flight Lawyers.”
ABOUT ADAMS AND REESE LLP
Adams and Reese (http://www.adamsandreese.com) is a multidisciplinary law firm with nearly 280 attorneys and advisors strategically located in 16 offices across 15 markets throughout the southern United States and Washington, D.C. The American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms – The Am Law 200. The National Law Journal also includes the firm among the top 200 on the NLJ 500 list of the nation's largest law firms.
ABOUT RAILROAD PARK FOUNDATION
Railroad Park (http://www.railroadpark.org) is a 19-acre green space in the middle of downtown Birmingham that celebrates the industrial and artistic heritage of Birmingham. Situated along 1st Avenue South, between 14th and 18th Streets, the park is a joint effort between the City of Birmingham and the Railroad Park Foundation. Hailed as "Birmingham's Living Room," Railroad Park provides a historically rich venue for local recreation, family activities, concerts, and cultural events, while connecting Birmingham's downtown area with Southside and UAB's campus. For information on how to support the public- and privately funded park, please visit: http://www.railroadpark.org/support.html