The statue was built
for display at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and returned to Birmingham.
The statue was installed
atop a pedestal, with observation tower, at Vulcan Park, part
of a WPA-funded project in 1936-37.
Some local citizens
were dismayed with the statue's naked posterior. Some apparently
remain so. The gift shop once sold coffee mugs and t-shirts
imprinted "Buns of Iron" but removed them as a result of complaints,
we are told.
Since the backside
of the statue faced the community of Homewood, some local wags
called the statue "Moon Over Homewood."
The statue began to
display signs of decay (rust) and was disassembled, removed from
its pedestal, in late 1999. The City of Birmingham paid
for the disassembly.
One newspaper report
placed restoration cost in the range of $16 million, a figure
which includes rebuilding the surrounding park.