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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmington in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Vulcan Statue

 
 
Vulcan Statue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1998
1. Vulcan Statue Marker
Inscription. When it was first proposed in 1905 that Vulcan be placed on Red Mountain, the time was not right for such a move. But by 1935 when the idea for Vulcan Park was proposed, iron ore mining had ceased here, the mineral railroad had been abandoned and accessibility was improved via automobile. Birmingham also had a parks department, established in 1925, and a parks master plan calling for a vast park atop Red Mountain.

Under a cooperative effort between the Kiwanis Club’s Tom Joy and Birmingham parks superintendent R. S. Marshall and with the WPA and Alabama Highway funding and manpower the project moved ahead. Architects Warren, Knight, and Davis designed the tower, carefully placed during construction to avoid mine chambers below. Italian immigrant stone masons, who had worked on fine houses during preceding boom years, crafted the stone for both tower and grounds improvements. The design reflects the excellent site-sensitive work that came to be identified with WPA projects across America.

As the statue of Vulcan was put into place, piece by piece, the lower half was filled with concrete. Metal rods extended from the legs into the concrete top of the shaft to anchor the statue. The cast iron was painted aluminum and illuminated for nighttime visibility, echoing the Art Moderne chevron pattern on the observation platform railing.

Vulcan Statue image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1998
2. Vulcan Statue
All in all, this period represents the peak of Vulcan in this landscape setting.
 
Location. 33° 29.513′ N, 86° 47.728′ W. Marker is in Birmington, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Valley View Drive. Click for map. The Vulcan Center is located at the top of Red Mountain. It is the largest cast iron statue in the world at 56 feet tall and it depicts the Roman god, Vulcan. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham AL 35209, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lone Pine Mine (a few steps from this marker); A New City (a few steps from this marker); Industry (a few steps from this marker); South (within shouting distance of this marker); The Works Progress Administration (within shouting distance of this marker); Before Birmingham: Jones Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Building The Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Mineral Railroad Trestle (within shouting distance of this marker).
 
Categories. ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce
 
Vulcan Statue image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1998
3. Vulcan Statue
View of Birmingham from the top of Vulcan Statue image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1998
4. View of Birmingham from the top of Vulcan Statue
Vulcan Park-Birmingham department of parks and recreation image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1998
5. Vulcan Park-Birmingham department of parks and recreation
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 4, 2016.
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