Birmingham, Alabama: Vulcan the Iron Man

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Vulcan Park and Museum

Address:
1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, AL
Directions:
Vulcan Park and Museum, atop Red Mountain. Entrance at the corner of 21st Ave. S. and Valley Ave.
Hours:
Tower M-Sa 10 am - 10 pm, Su 1-10 pm; Museum closes daily at 6 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
205-933-1409
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights
Vulcan Iron Man. Vulcan the Iron Man
56-foot-tall statue of Vulcan, the pagan, bare-butted Roman smithy god, watches Birmingham from his tower on the summit of Red Mountain. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [01/03/2011]

Visitor Tips and News About Vulcan the Iron Man

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Vulcan statue. Vulcan the Iron Man

Great attraction! The museum was small but very educational. There is also a beautiful overlook into the city.

[Lindsey, 01/19/2014]
Vulcan Goes Plush in Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama, has had a giant statue of Vulcan for over a hundred years. Perched atop Red Mountain, he overlooks a city that was famous for steelmaking at the time that he was created.... [03/08/2008] Complete News Story

Vulcan the Iron Man

The Vulcan is back standing tall in Birmingham, but not without controversy! I have spent the past few days working in the Birmingham area and I can say that most of the people I talked with are not happy about the Vulcan no longer holding a glowing torch (or glowing anything for that matter). When I asked why the spear no longer glows I received an unusual response: the light costs too much to replace. I suppose it is quite costly to replace but that doesn't seem to be an excuse to not replace the torch. Couldn't the lights have been replaced by zillions of LED lights that would have lasted much longer? Maybe, maybe not. But at least The Vulcan was not scrapped. And, even better, the Giant Dog on a Crane off hwy 208 has something interest to look at.

[Greg Brown, 02/14/2004]

June 2005 - Barbara Kelley, Director of Education of the Vulcan Park Foundation, provided this explanation about the torch and the spear: "After the renovation of Vulcan, it was decided to eliminate the light that shown red or green. This was a decision that had nothing to do with money. We wanted to return Vulcan to the way that the artist, Giuseppe Moretti, intended when he sculpted Vulcan for the World's Fair in 1904. Vulcan held a spear (the light was added in 1946) at the World's Fair. The original spear was lost when Vulcan returned to Birmingham after the World's Fair so a new spear was made by Robinson Iron, the folks who renovated Vulcan."

Vulcan statue - Repaired

The Vulcan statue has returned to its pedestal on Red Mountain. His massive cast iron buttocks was put in place mid-June. However, it will no longer be a 'Moon Over Homewood' (title of a 1981 song). Vulcan has been whirled around to more of his original orientation, and faces a different direction. Also, the red and green indicator in his hand changed -- it will no longer look like a lime or cherry popsicle. It's been removed, to show the original spear point underneath. However, high-intensity lights are pointed at it, so that at night, it can still glow red or green.

[Uncle Flip, 07/19/2003]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Ram-Headed Southern StorytellerRam-Headed Southern Storyteller, Birmingham, AL - < 1 mi.
Blaze the DragonBlaze the Dragon, Birmingham, AL - 1 mi.
The Sloss FurnacesThe Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL - 2 mi.
In the region:
Large Copper Frog, Harpersville, AL - 23 mi.

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