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, Vulcan has overlooked Alabama’s largest city from atop Red Mountain since the 1930s.
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. They also created a dynamic educational park complex interpreting Alabama’s rich industrial history for both residents and visitors from across the globe.
Vulcan is the Roman god of fire and forge (a forge is a shop with a furnace where metal is heated and hammered out into useful items). City leaders wanted to advertise Birmingham and Alabama at the St. Louis World’s Fair and decided a statue of Vulcan would best highlight the area’s growing industrial abilities.
The hammer is a tool Vulcan used in his forge and the spear is a piece of his completed work.
Vulcan stands 56 feet tall, from toe to spear point, upon a 124-foot pedestal rising to a height of 180 feet and weighs 101,200 pounds. Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world and the largest metal statue ever made in the United States.
We’re proud of our Alabama history…
To learn more about Vulcan, visit http://visitvulcan.com
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