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Vestavia Hills, colloquially known simply as Vestavia, is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and it is made up of Vestavia, Liberty Park, and Cahaba Heights. As of the 2010 census, its population was 34,033, up from 24,476 in 2000. It moved up from the fifth largest city in Jefferson County in 2000 to the third largest in 2010, behind Birmingham and Hoover.
Vestavia Hills is named for the 20-acre (8.1 ha) estate of former Birmingham mayor George B. Ward. It was situated on the crest of Shades Mountain in what is now the northern edge of the city. Ward's mansion at the Vestavia estate became a landmark in the area as soon as it was completed in 1925. The 2 1⁄2-story house was patterned after the circular Temple of Vesta in Rome, with dark pink sandstone walls encircled by 20 massive white Doric columns surmounted by a carved entablature. The extensive gardens, populated by statuary and peacocks, surrounded a smaller domed gazebo patterned after the Temple of Sibyl in Tivoli.
After Ward's death, the house, something of a tourist stop near the highway between Birmingham and Montgomery, was used as a tearoom and reception hall before being purchased by Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. The church met in the temple like structure for several years before demolishing a portion of the building in 1971 to make way for a larger building; a central portion of the original building remains.
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