House of Rock

House of Rock

Behind a gated driveway in Irondale, Alabama sits a nearly 9,000-square-foot ranch-style home that was once the residence of Mildred and Norris Underwood. Built in 1963, the estate is constructed of Bessemer Grey brick and features five bedrooms, five baths, two kitchens, multiple living areas, and large vaulted addition with an indoor swimming pool. There is even a room dedicated to housing the owner’s pet birds, complete with large windows, a dirt floor, and an open skylight for the birds to fly up to the second floor. At one time, the grounds were meticulously landscaped with a Japanese-theme garden in the backyard. There were four Koi ponds surrounded by various plants and trees. According to neighbors, the owners had many visitors who would come to just enjoy the garden, which is said to have rivaled the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Norris Underwood was born on May 13, 1926. He served in World War II in the U.S. Navy alongside his twin brother Horace. Both were aboard but unharmed when transport ship LST-6 was sunk by mines in the Seine River, France, in late 1944. Norris and Mildred founded and operated the Irondale Fabricating Company, which conducted wrought-iron construction throughout Alabama. They built jails and bomb shelters across the state, as well as such high-profile projects as the scrolling sign atop the Two North Twentieth Building in downtown Birmingham. Even after he retired, he managed many Irondale industrial and retail properties.

The Underwoods celebrated 59 years of marriage before Norris passed away at the age of 79 in March 2006. Sadly, Mildred passed away a few years later in August 2012. The house was left to their daughter who listed it for sale, but due to the house’s size and location, finding a buyer proved difficult. By 2018, the property had fallen into foreclosure and was left abandoned. In 2020, the property was sold to a new owner who plans to renovate the house.

House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock
House of Rock

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You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. The House of Rock along with 10 other amazing locations are featured in my latest book, Abandoned Alabama: Exploring the Heart of Dixie. For more abandoned places from around the city, check out Abandoned Birmingham. If you would like to receive the Abandoned Southeast blog in your email, you can sign up on the main page.

18 comments

  1. I know this house was on the market about 6 or so months ago. We went to it and whoever bought I was there and let us in to explore it. I haven’t actually seen it listed for sale again. It’s a very strange house but was totally cool to explore.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gorgeous home, It would be nice to see the updated pictures of how the new owners renovated it.

    Like

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I hope someone is doing a restoration of this beautiful home and bringing it back to life.
    I would love to be able to see this.
    It needs to be featured on a TV show.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing! Sad that it has been a lonely place for so long. I am sure the original owners loved it. It would take an extremely wealthy person to renovate as it should be. Too bad the daughter could not or would not do it justice.

    Liked by 1 person

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