Tag Archives: Sloss Furnaces

Iron pour formally kicks off Sloss’ visitors center construction

Commemorative Iron Pour underwayThis 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:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=028WR091I4U]

The visitors center is scheduled to open in late 2013.

Have you visited Goldie?

If you’re in Tuscaloosa between now and the end of December this year and you’re walking by Woods Quad on the Alabama campus, you’ll stumble upon a sculpture created by graduate student Joe McCreary (who just so happens to work as the metal arts education coordinator at Sloss Furnaces). The piece, named Goldie has a serious purpose to it though, according to the post on Alabama’s faculty/staff blog – dialog:

Goldie symbolizes the closing of Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces in 1972 and America’s passage into the post-industrial era. The robot is not so much dead or sleeping as turned off.

Now there’s a photo of Goldie on the site, but we were wondering if someone wouldn’t mind scoring one for our use – in exchange for a white Terminal T of course. Drop us an email with the file or link if you’re interested.

On the agenda: Construction abound

A quick look over this morning’s Birmingham City Council agenda would not necessarily make you think of construction. However, it signals a great deal of construction and growth for the city, once you get down to the introduction and first readings section of today’s agenda.

A great deal of the items focus on the Ensley neighborhood. Item 19 provides $900,000 to move forward with plans to renovate and stabilize the Ramsay-McCormack Building in the Ensley neighborhood. Item 20 provides for $2 million to be used from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund to assist in completing the HOPE VI Tuxedo Court development in Ensley. Item 32 suggests that the scope of work associated with the project will now include a public park and developing a portion of the Ensley Trail.

Item 24 lets Mayor Langford provide $25,000 towards the $1 million commitment to Sloss Furnaces‘ new visitors center, with Item 28 allowing him to execute the project development contract.

There’s more, after the jump:

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The train’s getting in early

Remember that post last week about the locomotive moving to Sloss Furnaces? Well, the date’s changed – to tomorrow morning!

They’re expecting it to pull on to the site at approximately 9 a.m. though the time may change yet again because of the complexity of the operation. Maybe one of us will see you there…

Fair Park Locomotive moving to Sloss

35Birmingham’s Fair Park has long been home to this 1917 “war baby” steam locomotive. Well, on February 22 it’ll be settling into its new home on the grounds of the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark site. It is the result of an effort led by Mountain Book mayor Terry Oden to raise the $150,000 necessary to pay for the transport of the locomotive by flatbed railcar to its new home. The Birmingham News ran a piece in mid-January with details for those interested in helping out with the move.

BTW: If you wanted to check out some photos from the demolition of the raceway grandstand from last month, there’s a photo set courtesy of Bob Farley over in The Gallery.

Photo: Courtesy of Sloss Furnaces

Watch Ghost Adventures tonight

Folks with access to The Travel Channel should check out the series Ghost Adventures tonight starting at 9 p.m. They’ll be taking a look at the ghostly residents of our own Sloss Furnaces in this latest episode.

Check out their schedule page so you can see when the episode will be replayed in the coming days in case you find you’re going to miss it tonight (and we mean there are A LOT of chances). Visit The Haunted Report so you can see the episode preview.

A skate park update

For those of you who haven’t ventured through the comments and the site to learn more about the skate park situation, allow me to share what Peter Karvonen of Faith Skate Supply posted under the relating Magic City Question:

“We are talking with people in the mayor’s office right now and they are very open to the idea of a public skatepark. We have gotten as far as looking for proposed sites now. The city owns the property at sloss north of 1st Ave. North. They are talking with the right people now in hopes that a skatepark conjoined with sloss furnaces would be a great relationship.

I invision a concrete park there with metal skateable sculptures that would be made there at the furnaces steel works! Sounds amazing to me!”

Definitely sounds like something that would be uniquely Birmingham depending on where the proccess goes… and it will lend itself nicely to my editorial tomorrow morning.