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'On Friday and Saturday nights,' Coleman remembers, 'my friend Walton Kimbrough and me went cruising in his '53 Mercury, parking at Pig Trail Inn, elbows out the window, listening to Dave Roddy on the radio, sipping cherry Cokes and eating Bar-B-Cues. We'd cruise up Red Mountain, beneath the bare bottom of Vulcan Statue, past WYDE radio and into five points south, giving the royal digit salute to every blue Ramsey High jacket we saw.
-- "Trail of the Octopus -- From Beirut to Lockerbie -- Inside the DIA," by Donald Goddard and Lester Coleman
Vulcan Park is home to the world's largest cast iron statue and features spectacular panoramic views of Birmingham. Located atop Red Mountain, Vulcan Park tells the story of Birmingham's past, present and promise for the future.
Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, was originally built in 1904 and has stood as a symbol of Birmingham for over 100 years. A 10-acre urban green space surrounds the 56' high statue and observation balcony that sits upon a 124' pedestal. Visitors to Vulcan Center find interactive exhibits and displays that give insight into the region's history and industrial growth.
Vulcan Park is open 7 days a week from 7 am - 10 pm.
Vulcan Center and Tower is open Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday 1-6 pm.
Evening hours for Vulcan Tower are daily from 6 -10 pm.
1701 Valley View Drive
Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: (205) 933-140
The statue was built for display at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and returned to Birmingham.
The statue was installed atop a pedestal, with observation tower, at Vulcan Park, part of a WPA-funded project in 1936-37.
Some local citizens were dismayed with the statue's naked posterior. Some apparently remain so. The gift shop once sold coffee mugs and t-shirts imprinted "Buns of Iron" but removed them as a result of complaints, we are told.
Since the backside of the statue faced the community of Homewood, some local wags called the statue "Moon Over Homewood."
The statue began to display signs of decay (rust) and was disassembled, removed from its pedestal, in late 1999. The City of Birmingham paid for the disassembly.
One newspaper report placed restoration cost in the range of $16 million, a figure which includes rebuilding the surrounding park.
Workmen disassembling the statue in October, 1999.
As part of an earlier "fix," the lower part of the statue (from the buns down) had been filled with concrete. Workmen had to laboriously remove the concrete prior to removing the legs.
By mid-November, 1999, the dismantling was complete.
The restored statue now stands atop Red Mountain