For one of the best views of Birmingham and the surrounding area, you have to stop in at Vulcan Park and take the elevator up over 100 feet off the ground for a breathtaking view, day or night, of the Magic City.
In 1904 NY sculpture, Giuseppe Moretti built the 56’ (and weights in at a hefty 101,200 pounds) cast iron statue for the World’s Fair in St. Louis. After the fair the statue just sat around and collected dust. In the 1930s the Kiwanis Club decided to purchase the statue as a symbol of Birmingham. After all Birmingham was a city of iron and Vulcan is the Roman God of fire and forge. So the club built a park around it and soon it was open to the public to enjoy. In 1999 some cracks started to cause it to become a safety hazard. The park was shut down and work on the statue began. It was rededicated to the public once again in 2004. Today this Roman god keeps his watchful eye on the city and the surrounding areas of the Red Mountains.
The statue is the world’s largest cast iron statue and the largest metal statue in the US. In 2006 it was awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation's highest honor-the Honor Award.
The park sits on 10 acres in the Red Mountains just out side of Birmingham. Before you go up the observation tower take the time to come inside and enjoy the museum. The museum has numerous displays and several interactive displays. Guests take a tour through history as you see displays and information of the building of this monumental statue as well as the history of Birmingham. You can even stand by a huge replica of Vulcan’s foot.
For the adventurous, step outside and get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area high atop the observation tower. You can either take the steps up to the tower or take the elevator, which will whisk you up in a matter of seconds and deposit you 124’ feet in the air. There is an observation deck that sits under the statue and gives you spectacular views of Birmingham and the surrounding area. Prefer keeping your feet on the ground? There is an overlook right outside of the park office that also give guests great views. And make sure to look down and check out the large scale ground map of the area.
The park does offer rental facilities for your next meeting, workshop, or social event. They have both the indoor meeting room as well as a platform at the city overlook. Throughout the year the parks hosts a number of workshops and events including the upcoming Birthday Bash for Vulcan, which is held in June. The facility always welcomes groups. There is a gift shop on the premises as well as restrooms. The park is handicapped accessible.
Museum: Monday-Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday 1 to 6pm
Grounds: 7am to 10pm daily
Observation tower: Monday through Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday 1 to 10pm.
Admission (museum/observation tower):
$3 (nighttime observation tower)
Your day time admission allows you to come back to the observation tower in the evening on the same day for free.
There is no admission to simply enjoy the grounds. They are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas. The observation tower may have to close during inclement weather.
You can see the statue from all over Birmingham. And with the Red Mountains as his backdrop, it is truly amazing. If you’re in Birmingham you must stop in. The views here will leave you speechless. This place is one of the best bargains around and defiantly one of my picks of things do in Birmingham.
Very highly recommended