This afternoon city officials, members of Sloss Furnaces‘ board of directors and members of the general public gathered for something a little different than your regular groundbreaking for its visitors center. Those gathered in the shed of the historic site got to witness an iron pour commemorating the start of construction of the new 10,000 square foot facility next week.
The pour was no doubt a nod to the national historic landmark site’s designation as the only 20th century blast furnace being interpreted as a museum in the country as well as its reputation throughout the country as a center for metal arts. According to the press release for the event, the space “will use applied science, history, and interactive technology” as it attempts to inform visitors about the iron-making process. As reported yesterday by The Birmingham News, the Sloss Foundation will be covering $1 million of the cost of construction & all of the currently estimated $3 million cost for creating the center’s exhibits. The remaining $4 million will be covered by the city.
If you’ve never experienced an iron pour at Sloss, here’s a taste:
The visitors center is scheduled to open in late 2013.