Vulcan, Birmingham Alabama's colossal statue is the world's largest cast iron statue and considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Designed by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti and cast from local iron in 1904, it has overlooked the urban landscape of Alabama's largest city since the 1930s.
But by 1999, the 50-ton statue was in desperate need of repair. The surrounding 10-acre park was closed. Vulcan was removed from his pedestal. Realizing Vulcan's importance to the region's history, city leaders sought public support for its restoration, forming the non-profit Vulcan Park Foundation. The foundation would oversee a master plan to return this colossal statue to his 1904 grandeur.
But there was much more. They would also create a dynamic educational park complex interpreting Alabama's rich industrial history for both residents and visitors from across the globe.
Today, thanks to public-private partnerships and a $15.5 million campaign, this beloved symbol of Birmingham and the nation's iron and steel industry stands preserved and proud as the centerpiece of it rehabilitated and expanded park, now referred to as Vulcan Park and Museum.
Meet Vulcan and learn the fascinating history that makes him so significant to Birmingham!
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.