John Harbert III




John Harbert III


Brad Morton

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John M. Harbert III stands out as a champion, not just in construction - the industry he loved so dearly - but in life. Throughout his life, he greeted each day with the exuberance of a spirited young boy: energetic, inquiring and eager for new adventures.

The results of John Harbert's construction career which began in the late 1940's, are visible today in Birmingham through the work of Harbert Construction Corporation: Regions/Harbert Plaza, The Harbert Center, Riverchase Galleria, the Marquerite Jones Harbert Building at Birmingham Southern College, Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, miles of interstates, layers of bridges, airport runways and energy generation facilities. In recognition of his work on the interstates, the Alabama legislature named I-459 for him. He built his international construction company, Harbert Corporation, into one of the world's largest and most prestigious.

But more valuable that the physical structures are his enduring gifts of time, leadership, example and commitment. He extended this generosity not only to business, but to the arts. His local and national influence in the arts arena continues today.

He was dedicated to Alabama and made many contributions to the betterment of Birmingham, Alabama and the country.


The sculpture of John Harbert by renowned artist Brad Morton fittingly stands in front of the Regions-Harbert Plaza building built by Harbert Construction. In one hand, he holds a set of construction plans and in the other a pair of glasses, a briefcase at his feet. These features accentuate Mr. Harbert's attributes as a visionary, as a leader in the construction industry and as an astute businessman. His gaze is confident, looking outward and upward, reflective of his forward thinking nature and optimism.


Brad Morton studied Industrial Design at Auburn University from 1969 through 1972 before declaring his Art major and subsequently earning his BA from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his MFA in sculpture from the University of Georgia in 1981. Morton's preferred materials are bronze, cor-ten steel and stainless steel, and his approach to his work is rooted in the idea of "truth to the materials". Some of his cast bronze pieces tend to be organic, natural forms, while others are models for fabricated pieces that utilize smooth lines, flat planes, and hard edges to convey the contemporary minimalism of the man-made world. He has work in public and private collections throughout the country, and his work is currently on exhibit in Alabama and New Mexico.