Mountain Brook was originally developed in 1929 by local developer Robert Jemison as an extensive residential subdivision, and was incorporated on May 24, 1942. The plans, by Boston-based landscape architect Warren H. Manning called for estate-sized lots along winding scenic roads and denser commercial development centering on three "villages", called "English Village", "Mountain Brook Village" and "Crestline Village". Nature preserves on the adjacent slopes protected the area from urban encroachment and bridle paths created a recreational network within the development.
The derisive nickname "The Tiny Kingdom" has been applied to Mountain Brook due to its enduring reputation as a manicured enclave of the area's social elite.
Mountain Brook is the hometown of actors Wayne Rogers, Kate Jackson and Courteney Cox as well as former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr. Mountain Brook was also home to Natalee Holloway, a 2005 high school graduate who disappeared on a school trip in Aruba in a well-publicized missing persons case.
Mountain Brook is Alabama's best educated city, proportionately, with 79.5% of adult residents (25 and older) holding an associate degree or higher, and 77.3% of adults possessing a baccalaureate degree or higher (2000 Census).
There were 7,998 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $100,483, and the median income for a family was $156,647. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $39,770 for females. The per capita income for the city was $59,085. 0% of the population is below the poverty line. The home ownership rate (owner-occupied housing units to total units) is 87.2%.
Mountain Brook has a city council/mayor/city manager system of government. The city council consists of 5 members elected at large, and the council considers most issues and appoints the police chief, the fire chief, and the city manager (with the mayor). The mayor is elected every 4 years and as of January 2008 is Terry Oden. Administrative business is handled by the city manager who is appointed by the mayor and city council. As of January 2008 the city manager is Sam Gaston. The Tree Commission and the Planning Commission consider specific issues and usually refer them to the city council.
The students flow from the four elementary schools to the Junior High, located in Crestline. Then after spending three years (Grades 7, 8, and 9) there, they go to the Mountain Brook High School to go through their last three years of education until college.