Historic Markers Across Alabama

Vulcan Statue

Marker ID:  
Location: 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, AL
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 29.513    W 086° 47.728
  33.49188333    -86.79546666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Vulcan Statue

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.
All in all, this period represents the peak of Vulcan in this landscape setting.

End of Vulcan Statue