Client: US Steel Corporation
Location: Birmingham , AL, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $225,000
Studio A Design
Birmingham sits astride a rare mineral bounty in the Jones Valley, one of few places in the world harboring all three ingredients needed to make iron and steel: coal, limestone/dolomite, and iron ore. This sculpture recreates the geological map of the Jones Valley, displaying the mineralogical symbols of the valley in laser cut detail that light both sides of the LED light tower.
The availability of seemingly limitless mineral resources was the key to the success of the Birmingham District, an area defined by geologic deposits that span five counties (Jefferson, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Bibb).
This unique geological arrangement resulted in the lowest raw-material assembly costs in the United States and allowed the district to grow rapidly and gave birth to Birmingham.
Technological innovations were the most important feature of the transition from agricultural to industrial societies. The essential characteristic of this achievement for the steel industry was that changing the fuel of the iron and steel industry from charcoal to coal enormously increased the production of these metals - found in abundance around Birmingham. Innovation is still the key ingredient for communities all across the United States in creating economic opportunities for growth in the future. Grand River Technology Park is a regional hub for research and development, tourism and light manufacturing, adding more than 1,200 jobs and having an economic impact of about $85 million. Technology fosters innovation, creates jobs, and boosts long-term economic prosperity. Grand River places an emphasis on workforce development, creating a pipeline for students to find the quality, high-paying jobs of the future.
Innovation is crucial for long-term economic development and prosperity. With the Grand River Tech Park, US Steel is building on the legacy of Birmingham’s steel history and committed to realizing the future of Birmingham through technological innovations and collaboration.