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Unzipped: Decatur, 35601

FOX 54 'unzips' what makes the 35601 area so unique to the Tennessee Valley!

DECATUR, Ala. — Let's unzip Decatur, AL, 35601. Did know that that Decatur zip code is home to the largest concentration of Victorian-era craftsmen and bungalow homes in the entire state of Alabama?

Some of these homes date back to the early 1800's, while others were constructed around the turn of the 20th century. Decatur mayor, Tab Bowling just recently moved into a Victorian-style home himself. "Our home was built in 1886 and I just mounted some wall-mount TVs...goodness gracious those are real 2 by 4s - rough cut, true 2 by 4s."

Speaking of things built to last, Decatur is also the home to the first ever wave pool to be introduced to the united states. Engel & Volkers real estate adviser Jean Paradise told us, "From what I understand, someone told me that somebody from Decatur went somewhere in Europe and saw a waterpark and got the idea and then came and built the waterpark."

That person is actually somebody very important to the city itself. Mayor Bowling confirmed, "Yes, it is the first wave pool under the leadership of former mayor Gilmer Blackburn, very visionary..." During time spent in Germany, Mayor Blackburn saw wave-activated swimming pools and decided they would be a great tourism attraction to bring back to Decatur.

Decatur is also known as the River City, but just like it's neighboring city, Huntsville, the 35601 is home to rockets. "For years if you wanted a rocket you had to come to Decatur, Alabama to get that rocket. We were the only place in the country that was producing rockets," said Mayor Bowling. 

The city houses ULA, United Launch Alliance. In recent months, Amazon and ULA have teamed up to built 47 rockets in total at its Decatur location as part of Amazon's initiative to increase global broadband access. 

This is a huge economic win for the 35601, alongside the established trade industry that already lives there with the river, railroad, and I-65. There's talk of building another bridge over the Tennessee River. Bowling says, "We're home to the largest port on the Tennessee River. And with that, we know that we need a new bridge to get us over the river. We need that to lessen the freight that's going on our current bridges. And thankfully ALDOT, Alabama Department of Transportation is supporting that effort."

With that grow and development comes more people, but take it from the Decatur resident and reality expert herself... the 35601... is the place to be. "I expect more people to move here, especially with well, right now Huntsville is the number one place to live in the country. But there's only so many houses there and if you don't like traffic, Decatur is a place to be," said Paradise.

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