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.
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.