Founded in 1881 by Colonel James Withers Sloss, one of the founders of Birmingham, the Sloss Furnaces was Birmingham’s first blast furnace. The first blast was initiated in April 1882. Ownership changed hands several times until the furnaces closed in 1971.
The furnaces were slated for demolition until concerned citizens advocated for it to be saved. In 1981, they were designated as a National Historic Landmark. It reopened in 1983 to the public. Today the site is known for its concerts, annual haunted “house,” and metal arts classes. Visitors can freely tour the site.