Ed & Marilyn Levins residence

From Bhamwiki
Revision as of 22:19, 1 September 2021 by Dystopos (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Ed Levins residence decorated for Christmas

The Ed & Marilyn Levins residence (also called the Santa Claus house) is a two-story, 2,200-square foot brick ranch-style house at 5205 Clairmont Avenue in Crestwood South.

McDonald's restaurant franchisee Ed Levins and his wife, Marilyn resided in the house. During a Christmas party in the mid 1960s, Ed's brother Paul came dressed as Santa Claus.

It was owned by Ed Levins, who was a partner with Max Cooper and Ben Pastko in the CLP Corporation, which operated dozens of McDonald's franchises in the Birmingham area. When he stepped out onto the terrace above the garage, he was spied by a passing car. They waved and he waved back, beginning a nightly tradition each Christmas season.

Subsequently, Ed Levins bought a Santa suit for himself and began appearing each evening in December for an ever-growing parade of cars that came from all around the city to wave at him. The tradition was suspended in 1975 when he and Marilyn were divorced and he moved to Gadsden.

Marilyn kept the house and custody of the children. Fifteen-year-old Rusty Levins revived the Santa Claus appearances in 1982, sharing duties with his older siblings Mark and Charmaine. Their father donned the suit briefly in 1986 while visiting. Charmaine and her husband Rob Wiley bought the house that year, and took on the responsibility of appearing as Santa Claus each December, until they put the house on the market in 1993. With no buyers, the Wileys decided to continue the appearances for one last year in December 1994.


  • Harvey, Alec (December 23, 2011) "A gift from our archives: Memories of the Clairmont Avenue Santa Claus." The Birmingham News
  • Hollis, Tim (2015) Christmas in Birmingham. The History Press ISBN 9781626197022
  • Communication from Rob Wiley (August 29, 2021)