Fairfield is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham, Alabama, metropolitan area. Its location is southeast of Pleasant Grove. The population was 11,117 at the 2010 census.
This city was founded in 1910 in which the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony was former President Theodore Roosevelt. It was originally named Corey, after an executive of U. S. Steel Corporation. The name was later changed to the city in which the President of U. S. Steel lived, Fairfield, Connecticut. It was planned as a model city by theTennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company to house workers in their new Fairfield Works plant, now owned by U.S. Steel similar to its northeastern city of Ensley.
Fairfield has its own school system, independent from Jefferson County. The system includes three elementary schools, Forest Hills Middle School, Fairfield High Preparatory School (formerly Fairfield High School), and an alternative all-grades school.
Though the United States steel making industry has gone through a decline through the last half of the 20th Century, U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works continues to be a major employer, though not in the levels seen around the 1950s. Advances in steel-making technology have enabled the works to produce roughly the same amount of product as during that era, but with a much smaller workforce.
Portions of the Works have been closed over the years, but many parts of the complex have been reopened by smaller industries, some of which are steel-related.
Fairfield is traversed by I-20/I-59. Three railroads serve the area: CSX Transportation (former Louisville and Nashville Railroad), Norfolk Southern Railway(former Southern Railway), and short-line Birmingham Southern Railroad, which is headquartered in Fairfield.
The city's downtown area features a number of small businesses, primarily service-related. Other retail businesses are concentrated along Aronov Drive, northwest of Western Hills Mall, though those strip malls have declined due to closures ofKmart, Winn-Dixie, and Sears locations.