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Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Twenty 32nd Street North

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Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark was rescued from destruction in 1977 and now stands as a museum, performance venue and historic landmark. This intriguing complex consists of two 400-ton blast furnaces and numerous buildings featuring equipment from various stages of the site's industrial past. Hosting guided and self-guided tours, an array of concerts and festivals, and an active learning center, Sloss also houses a nationally renown metal-arts education program, offering workshops, classes and artist residencies.

Sloss Furnaces holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Birmingham. The original blast furnaces constructed by James Withers Sloss in the early 1880's served to propel the fledgling city of Birmingham into the pre-eminent industrial center of the South. For this reason Sloss Furnaces is a rich source of local pride and an invaluable part of our collective identity. But the Sloss Furnaces story doesn't end there. We are now looking to the future with plans to preserve Sloss Furnaces and expand on it's base as a cultural icon. You'll find these plans are big and bold, much like the towering smokestacks and enormous furnaces that made Sloss the stuff of legend.


Kaylan Wells

Tuesday, May 1, 2018
GO SEE SLOSS FURNACES!!! We weren't expecting this stop to be one of our family's most favorite stops on our road trip. My husband and I are history buffs and we thought this would be a good "kill an hour" stop on our way back home from our road trip. After 2 hours, we had to almost drag our children (ages 9 and 7) away due to the late hour. It's hard to imagine how an abandoned furnace could be so interesting but I will endeavor to communicate how it captured our attention. For those who like history or learning about the background of something, this place definitely is a vast well of information. We enjoyed learning about the role Birmingham played in the iron industry nationally and even internationally. We also enjoyed learning about how iron was produced. For those who enjoy getting to experience history in a hands-on manner, this place also checks that off the list. This vast property is almost entirely open for exploration. There are sections of the factory that are gated off for safety reasons (usually at a certain point on some stairs when it gets high off the ground), but my curious children never once complained or felt constricted by availability to explore. They (and my husband and I too!) loved getting to touch, climb, and walk around a place with such incredible history. We loved how they have not tried to shine this place up or restore it to "its glory days." Rather, they have worked to keep it safe but present it in its abandoned state. It gave it a very cool, unique vibe. We loved going in the old engine room with the original panels and levers still there and getting to even push the levers up and down. For those who want to just check out a cool, artsy environment, there are plenty of wonderful photos just waiting to happen as you can see. To this day, my children still tell others about the cool furnaces they got to go see. It is a wonderful learning experience that allows a lot of hands-on opportunities which is great for the kids. Also, it's totally free. No charge. Just a donation if you want. :)

Heather Whitmore

Monday, June 11, 2018
What a great place for a family-friendly day trip! The free historical self-guided tour of the furnace was super interesting and I really enjoyed getting to explore the place on my own. Just a word of advice, though. Make sure you visit no less than a few days after a heavy rain as certain areas are closed at times due to flooding.

Charles Bernhard

Saturday, April 21, 2018
We were at the annual Gumbo Cool Off to benefit Episcopal Place. It was a really fun event with lots of great gumbo. Out team from Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Vestavia won the first place Spirit Award as well as the judges choice award for best specialty gumbo.It was smoked turkey and sausage gumbo and it was awesome. We also had lots of bread pudding with a bourbon caramel sauce. Sloss Furnace is the perfect size for this event and their security did a great job with traffic before and after loading up.

Kenneth Kuk

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Really fun place to check out! It was interesting to learn the significance Sloss Furnaces played in the history of the city. You can spend hours wandering around the area. I'd love to come back during the "golden hour" of light - this place is a photographer's playground! Admission and parking are free.

Herschel Pollard

Monday, May 28, 2018
Wish I'd had more time to spend at this facinating piece of industrial history. I certainly plan to visit again in the future. If you're a photographer, I highly recommend taking your time. I'm sure the place has been shot too many times to count, but I'm also sure there are countless more original photos that can still be made.

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media