226 Summit Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: (205) 916-0464
Fax: (205) 916-0298
Arts & Museums
In ancient mythology, Vulcan was ugly. So ugly, that he was kicked out of his home on Mount Olympus and forced to become a blacksmith among the common people with a volcano as his forge. But he eventually married Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, so either he wasn’t really that ugly or he just had a really good sense of humor. Today, the god stands as the tallest cast iron statue in the world in the center of Birmingham’s Vulcan Park & Museum, which features educational tours and a soaring observation deck overlooking the city.
Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, the city's only antebellum mansion, offers tours featuring its collection of 19th-century furniture and decorative arts. The building is a grand example of the Greek Revival architecture that was prominent in the 1840s. A tearoom is available, and the gardens are a beautiful site and backdrop for weddings and other special events. Call ahead for admission details.
Opened in the 1975, the Alabama Museum of Health Sciences is a reputed organization that aims at preserving and displaying various instruments, objects, and equipment of medical importance. A few medical manuscripts and books from the Middle Ages are also a part of its elaborate collection. The museum is a fine representation of the history and development of medical sciences in the United States in the different areas of medicine, right from nursing to public and allied health. The museum allows visitors to experience the milestones and obstacles that were encountered in the field of medicine.
Galley 1930 is an art gallery located in Birmingham's English Village. The gallery frequently hosts events of its regular artists' contemporary works, as well as guest artists. Mediums can range from simple oil paints to photography and more.
Located in the historic Carver Theatre in the Civil Rights District, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame started in 1978 as a tribute to the truly American music form. Many beloved jazz musicians got their start in Alabama, and a surprising number of these came from Birmingham. In the early 20th Century, Birmingham was a training ground for these famed musicians. See exhibits devoted to such greats as Lionel Hampton, Erskine Hawkins, Nat King Cole and Sun Ra. You can choose to tour all by yourself, or take a guided tour.
Located at 16th Street North across the street from Kelly Ingram Park and the 16th Street Baptist Church, this fascinating gallery tells the story of Birmingham's tragic and triumphant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This state-of-the-art facility utilizes multimedia presentations, photographs and other artifacts to document the African American struggle for racial equality, and relates this history to other human rights struggles around the world. Admission is free on Sundays.
A hands-on science museum, the McWane Science Center allows visitors to test physics principles, explore aquatic habitats, simulate space exploration and more. Interactive exhibits allow you to make your own animated movie, build a roller coaster or ride a bicycle along a wire 30 feet above the ground! There is also the IMAX Theater, a gift shop, and a food court that offers a variety of fast food and snack options. See website for event calendar, movie showtime, admission details and more.
Nestled within the sprawling campus of the Birmingham-Southern College, the Southern Environmental Center was founded to create awareness about environment protection and conservation. All its efforts and endeavours are directed towards achieving this goal. For more details, check website.
Step back in time to the era when the word "wireless" referred to radio. Founded by and named after a retired General Electric engineer, the Don Kresge Memorial Museum features antique radios, photos and other memorabilia. Displays allow visitors to trace the development of radio technology and the history of broadcasting. Serious radio buffs may enjoy participating in swap meets or attending educational programs about refurbishing old radios, vacuum tubes and cabinets.
Located in downtown Birmingham, at first glance this rare bookstore/antique store/museum resembles a room in your grandmother’s house. Bursting at the seams and boasting an inventory of over 45,000 books, magazines, and other periodicals, if Reed Books doesn’t have what you’re looking for, it probably doesn’t exist. But, its vast inventory is not what makes Reed Books special. The randomness (a display of plastic Santa statues) and odd finds (post office mailboxes chocked full of letters) are what makes Reed Books special. That and owner Jim Reed, author, humorist, columnist, and all-around good guy who encourages people to "become your own book." Worth a trip on a lazy Saturday.
Located on Eighth Avenue North at Lynn Park, the Birmingham Museum of Art is recognized as one of the finest art museums in the Southeast. Its collection includes more than 18,000 ancient and modern works of art. In addition to the various galleries, the museum also houses a library, cafe and sculpture garden. The Birmingham Museum of Art offers a wide range of programs including gallery lectures, special exhibitions, films, and concerts. Admission is free, and guided tours are offered for groups of eight or more.
Alabama's sons and daughters who made their marks in sports history are honored here. Boxing great Joe Louis, baseball hero Willie Mays, track star Jessie Owens and Crimson Tide coach Paul Bear Bryant are just a few of those featured at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Sports memorabilia and vintage equipment are also on display in the museum. The gleaming modern Hall of Fame structure is adjacent to the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.