When Birmingham, Alabama‘s Sloss blast furnaces closed for good in 1971, it brought to an end the area’s nine decades, as one of the South’s largest pig iron manufacturers.
In 2009, University of Alabama alumnus Joe McCreary, secured scrap iron from long abandoned furnaces. He used it to build Goldie 1971; a striking rust colored robot sculpture. This way, he payed tribute to the area’s iron industry.
Goldie 1971 was named after a signature that was welded into Sloss’ No.1 furnace, during a repair. Its face is resembling Frankenstein’s monster and weights three tons. The 23 foot long sculpture lies on its side, as though the having fallen, at the university’s Woods Quad sculpture garden.
Woods Quad is open year-round and visitors wishing to see the sculpture can expect to pay $5 for campus parking. It offers an irresistible photo opportunity for delighted passers-by.
However, it’s what this fallen giant represents that makes it so arresting: the decline of the American iron industry and an era gone by.
301 7th Ave
7th Ave & Capstone Drive
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35401
Coordinates: 33.2130, -87.5456