CMH Celebrates 35 Years – Iss. 4, the 2000s

Birmingham, Ala. (July 26, 2016) – As midnight of 2000 approached and the Y2K panic came to a fever pitch, we all watched to see if the experts were right, if the world’s computers would all simultaneously crash, causing our infrastructure to implode and leaving us in the rubble of useless computers. Companies sprang up to reprogram our IT systems, protecting us from this apocalyptic scenario. And in the dawn of this new millennium, nothing happened.

As the new century began, The NASDAQ index reached a high of 5,132 in March 2000, and by December the tech bubble had burst bringing the NASDAQ down to 2,332. In August the GOP nominated George W. Bush as its Presidential Candidate and the DNC nominated Al Gore. Remember the hanging chads?  Gas was $1.26/gal. First Class postage was 33 cents. “Gladiator” won Best Picture. “Smooth” by Santana was #1 on the Billboard chart for 12 weeks, and CMH celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Lifestyle centers became the darling of retail shopping. In the years from 2000 to 2008 CMH designed 23 lifestyle centers with a total area of 7.8 million square feet. The chart here illustrates our major contributions to the rapid rise of this popular shopping venue.

The decade that began in 2000 was an interesting time for CMH. We saw emerging trends in many different areas. Upscale and organic grocery stores emerged as a powerful player in the way we shop for food.

Concern for the environment caused an industry-wide shift towards smarter, greener design projects. CMH designed the Miller Gorrie Center at Auburn University, which houses the Building Science Department — the first LEED Gold Certified building in Alabama. Situated adjacent to the Cahaba River, the outlet Shops of Grand River received Gold level of Signature Certification by Audubon International and SADI award for Best Open-Air Center.

In this decade, churches evolved away from the traditional architectural form with pews, stained glass and steeples to modern designs that accommodate performance worship, 1,000+ seats and flex-space auditoriums that can be repurposed for any number of activities.

The popularity of lifestyle centers also caused owners to renovate their enclosed malls to better compete for shoppers.

There was a time in this country when every town had a vibrant commercial center that had offices and even apartments above ground-level shops. The rise of suburban shopping centers caused many of those pedestrian-friendly towns full of mom-and-pop shops to decline. Since the turn of the century, the landscape of retail architecture has shifted to include the combination of retail, office and residential spaces in mixed-use developments that create pedestrian-friendly environments in suburban locations.

See the mail-out here.


Alpine, AL Lodge Design

Alpine, Ala. (February 23, 2016) – Throwback photos of a hunting lodge designed in 2008.  The lodge sits on a hilltop overlooking private property adjacent to Selwood Farm in Alpine, Alabama.  The design includes high vaulted ceilings, a big open porch, and large stone fireplace.  The lodge’s open space is perfect for hosting big gatherings.

Sketch of the Week – Lake Martin Chapel

Birmingham, Ala. (February 25, 2016) – Here at CMH, we have an office brimful of creativity.  The architects are constantly scheming, calculating, and envisioning new spaces.  With the constant flow of imagination and inspiration within our company, we thought it due time for a new tradition: The Sketch of the Week! For the first installment,… Continued

CMH Baron’s Night

Birmingham, Ala. (June 15, 2016) – Last week, the CMH team got together and attended a Birmingham Barons game at Region’s Field in downtown Birmingham.  While the Barons played against the Mobile Bay Bears, the CMH community enjoyed food, drink and baseball while mingling with each other and their families.  It was a blast.  Stay tuned… Continued