Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is located at 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222, United States. Sloss Furnaces was formerly the world’s largest producer of pig iron, it operated from 1882 to 1970. It stands today to serve as a monument to the Industrial Revolution and became one of the first industrial sites to be preserved for the public. The furnaces were assigned as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior in 1981. In 1983, It began as a museum to provide visitors with remarkable and valuable information regarding the industrial history of Birmingham.
James Withers Sloss, one of the founders of Birmingham, formed Sloss Furnace Company in 1881 as his first owned company. A land of 50 acres was provided by the Elyton Land Company for industrial development. It was indeed Birmingham’s first blast furnace. During its first year of operation, the plant produced 24,000 tons of high-quality iron. In 1886 Sloss retired and sold it to a group of investors. They reorganized it and by 1899 it was called the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company.
The complex is now an interpretive museum of the industry and hosts a metal arts program that is recognized in the country. It is also used as a venue for concerts and festivals.
An official groundbreaking ceremony was held in June 2012 at the site to celebrate the start of construction on a new 16,000 square foot Visitors’ and Education Center, which will be built on the property’s southwest corner. The project is supported both by the Sloss Foundation and the City of Birmingham. The new complex will include educational exhibits about the site’s history, additional multi-purpose space for public gatherings, and administrative offices. The upgrades at the Sloss Furnaces are in line with a planned project in the city to create new “greenway” areas in the downtown area.
Sloss Furnaces is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is free as per November details. Please observe the holidays and check the updated schedule.
On your visit to Sloss Furnaces, you can register at the Visitor Center and you’ll get a brochure that will guide you around the site. You’ll learn how iron was created, the challenges and experiences of the workers who produced it, as well as its significance to Birmingham, Alabama area. The visitor center has a number of exhibits and activities for visitors to check out while learning more about the city’s rich history. Inside, you’ll discover a gallery of local art, learn about the history of Sloss Furnaces via storyboards, visit the Gift Shop for souvenirs, and more.
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