Mountain Brook, Alabama

Mountain Brook is a city in southeastern Jefferson County, Alabama, United States, and a suburb of Birmingham. Its population at the 2020 census was 22,461.[3]

Mountain Brook, Alabama
The "Old Mill" on Shades Creek
The "Old Mill" on Shades Creek
Official seal of Mountain Brook, Alabama
Home of the Hereford
"Find Peace. Find Mountain Brook."
Location of Mountain Brook in Jefferson County, Alabama.
Location of Mountain Brook in Jefferson County, Alabama.
Coordinates: 33°29′13″N 86°44′26″W / 33.48694°N 86.74056°W / 33.48694; -86.74056
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedMarch 24, 1942
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorStewart Welch III
 • Total12.84 sq mi (33.25 km2)
 • Land12.82 sq mi (33.20 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation955 ft (291 m)
 • Total22,461
 • Density1,752.03/sq mi (676.47/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
35213, 35223, 35243
Area code(s)205 & 659
FIPS code01-51696
GNIS feature ID2404329[2]
Mtn. Brook City Schools @ — 4 Primary schools, 1 Jr. High School, 1 Sr. High School



The city was originally developed in 1929 by real-estate businessman Robert Jemison, Jr., as a whites-only suburb of Birmingham along the ridges known as Red Mountain and Shades Mountain.[4][5] It was incorporated on May 24, 1942.[6] The plans, by Boston-based landscape architect Warren H. Manning, called for estate-sized lots along winding scenic roads and denser commercial development centering on three picturesque "villages": English Village, Mountain Brook Village and Crestline Village. Most of Mountain Brook's development preserved the existing trees: 92.03% is under tree cover, one of the highest ratios in the nation.[7] Residential sections such as Cherokee Bend, Brookwood Forest, Overton, and Crestline have houses in a forest setting, with a recreational network of bridle paths. This has protected the area from urban encroachment.[6]

Mountain Brook is the location of the first office park in the U.S., built in 1955.[8] It featured the then novel concepts of ample free parking and low-profile office buildings surrounded by waterspouts and landscaped grounds.

A new city hall, including a fire and police station, was completed in 2013.[9]



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it has a total area of 12.82 square miles (33.2 km2), all land.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2018 Estimate[11]

2020 census

Mountain Brook racial composition[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 21,241 94.57%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 91 0.41%
Native American 10 0.04%
Asian 239 1.06%
Other/Mixed 529 2.36%
Hispanic or Latino 351 1.56%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 22,461 people and 8,365 households.

2010 census


As of the census of 2010, there were 20,413 people, 7,731 households, and 5,864 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,673.2 inhabitants per square mile (646.0/km2). There were 8,266 housing units at an average density of 675.8 per square mile (260.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 1.0% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,731 households, out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.12.

29.3% of the population was under the age of 18, 4.5% was from 18 to 24, 20.8% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% was 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household was $130,721, and the median income for a family was $164,750. Males had a median income of $124,224 versus $54,420 for females. The per capita income for the city was $76,763. 1.8% of families and 3.7% of individuals were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of individuals under 18 and 2.5% of those 65 and over.

According to a list compiled in 2008 by Stephen Higley, it is the ninth wealthiest community in the United States.[13] It is often referred to as "The Tiny Kingdom" due to its high concentration of the region's business and professional leaders,[14] and the disparity of wealth between it and Birmingham where according to census data nearly a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.


Old City Hall, photographed in 2006

Mountain Brook has a city council/mayor/city manager system of government.

The city council, consisting of five members elected at large, considers most issues and appoints the police chief and fire chief.

The mayor is Stewart Welch, III, first elected in 2016.[15]

The city manager is Sam Gaston, appointed by the council and mayor in January 2008.[16]



The Mountain Brook School System is consistently rated one of the best in the state.[17] It includes the following six schools, all of which have been awarded the Blue Ribbon:[citation needed]

  • Brookwood Forest Elementary
  • Cherokee Bend Elementary
  • Crestline Elementary
  • Mountain Brook Elementary
  • Mountain Brook Junior High
  • Mountain Brook High School

Notable people


Cultural references


In South and West: From a Notebook, Joan Didion writes, "It is said that the dead center of Birmingham society is the southeast corner of the locker room at the Mountain Brook country club." She adds, "it is hard to make the connection between this Birmingham and that of Bull Connor."[36]

During his 1970 gubernatorial campaign, George Wallace derisively referred to Mountain Brook as "where the rich folks live in the suburbs up across the mountain from Birmingham."[37]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mountain Brook, Alabama
  3. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Archives: Robert Jemison, Jr". Birmingham Public Library.
  5. ^ Miles, Kyra; WBHM (August 7, 2021). "Echoes of the Past as Overwhelmingly White Mountain Brook Debates Diversity". BirminghamWatch. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Barefield, Marilyn Davis (1989). A History of Mountain Brook, Alabama & Incidentally of Shades Valley. Southern University Press. ISBN 0-87651-990-7.
  7. ^ "Success Story - "Hiring First City Arborist" - the City of Mountain Brook" (PDF). Alabama's Urban & Community Forestry Program. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Ana (September 19, 2012). "Historical marker in Mountain Brook planned to recognize nation's first office park". The Birmingham News (blog). Archived from the original on July 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Rodriguez, Ana (April 10, 2013). "First look inside Mountain Brook's new $15.3 million municipal complex". The Birmingham News.
  10. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  13. ^ Crowe, Joe B. (December 30, 2008). "Mountain Brook one of wealthiest communities in U.S." The Birmingham News (blog).
  14. ^ Eskew, Glenn T. (1997). "Businessmen's Reform". But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle. The University of North Carolina Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-8078-4667-8.
  15. ^ "Mayor – City of Mountain Brook". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Sam Gaston – City of Mountain Brook". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Best High Schools in Alabama". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "Mountain Brook students enjoy Writers' Festival". April 26, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Inside Sara Evans and Jay Barker's Mountain Brook home, life in Birmingham". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Nathan Bland". Birmingham-Southern College. Archived from the original on August 9, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  21. ^ "Emory". Emory. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  22. ^ "Former Auburn linebacker Gregg Carr took the path less traveled to the Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  23. ^ Watkins, Mia (June 16, 2014). "Happy belated birthday, Courteney Cox: hometown girl, actress turns 50". The Birmingham News.
  24. ^ Harvey, Alec (February 12, 2013). "Birmingham's Tommy Dewey lands lead in new Seth McFarlane Fox sitcom". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  25. ^ " - Search continues in Aruba for missing teen". Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "Birmingham's Alan Hunter looks back at his MTV years for 'VJ' book (photos, video)". Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  27. ^ Grubb, Jeff (July 18, 2014). "Why triple-A devs are going indie (and why indies aren't going triple-A)". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  28. ^ "Things to know about Alabama's new U.S. senator, Doug Jones". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  29. ^ Anderson, Ric (November 15, 2001). "Short shots: KU lands QB". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  30. ^ Harvey, Alec (October 16, 2011). "Birmingham's Tribble Reese has his pick as the star of 'Sweet Home Alabama 2'". The Birmingham News (blog).
  31. ^ "Emeel Salem Wins H. Boyd McWhorter Post-Graduate Scholarship". University of Alabama. April 6, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  32. ^ Colurso, Mary (April 22, 2013). "Birmingham's Sarah Simmons channels team spirit for her battle round on 'The Voice' (video)". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  33. ^ "Prelude to the primaries — U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in Aug. 15 election - Lagniappe Mobile". Lagniappe Mobile. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  34. ^ "Queen of the World Wide Web: Birmingham's Barret Swatek stars in new Internet sitcom". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  35. ^ Gribble, Andrew (April 5, 2013). "Former center William Vlachos back at Alabama as a graduate assistant". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  36. ^ Didion, Joan (2017). South and West: From a Notebook. London, U.K.: 4th Estate. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-00-825717-0.
  37. ^ Robertson, Campbell; Martin, Jonathan (December 9, 2017). "Alabama, Despite History of Unruly Politics, Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2017.